Farouk Abdulhak: Billionaire’s son ‘confesses’ to involvement in 2008 student death

Suspected killer Farouk Abdulhak, who is living in Yemen which does not have an extradition treaty with Britain (PA Media)
Suspected killer Farouk Abdulhak, who is living in Yemen which does not have an extradition treaty with Britain (PA Media)

A billionaire’s son accused of murdering a student in London has confessed his involvement in the 23-year-old’s death for the first time, according to the BBC.

Farouk Abdulhak is the only suspect in the rape and murder of Martine Vik Magnussen, 23, who was found dead in the basement of his flat on Great Portland Street, Marylebone in March 2008.

Abdulhak fled to Yemen via Egypt in the hours after her death and despite efforts by Magnussen’s family and the UK and Norwegian authorities he has not returned to Britain to face the charges.

Mr Abdulhak, who is on the Met Police’s most wanted list and is the subject of an international arrest warrant, has stayed out of the public eye since the incident.

But he has since told the BBC Ms Magnussen died as a result of a “sex accident gone wrong”.

“I did something when I was younger, it was a mistake,” he told the BBC.

Reporter Nawal Al-Maghafi said he spoke to Mr Abdulhak over five months. “During the thousands of texts and hundreds of voice notes ... not once did he use Martine’s name or refer to her death, preferring the terms ‘incident’ or ‘accident’,” Ms Al-Maghafi wrote.

“It was just an accident. Nothing nefarious,” he told Ms Al-Maghafi.

An inquest ruled Magnussen was unlawfully killed after a post-mortem examination found there were at least 43 cuts and grazes to several areas of her body, including 10 to her face and neck.

A coroner said Magnussen died from compression to the neck and this could mean she was strangled, held down with a foot or other object or smothered with an object.

Mr Abdulhak is the son of the late billionaire Shaher Abdulhak, who was known as the king of sugar because soft drinks were the source of part of his fortune.

He was friends with Ms Magnussen, who was studying at Regent’s Business School and had just come top of her class when she died.

Ms Magnussen vanished when she and a group of students were out celebrating finishing their end-of-term exams at the Maddox nightclub in Mayfair on 14 March 2008.

In 2010, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard Ms Magnussen was last seen leaving the club with Mr Abdulhak at 3.20am before she disappeared and her body was found two days later in the basement area of flats where the billionaire’s son lived.

Ms Magnussen’s father, Odd Petter Magnussen, has campaigned for justice for more than 10 years and fought to keep the case in the public eye.

Detectives investigating the killing last year arrested a woman aged in her 60s on suspicion of assisting an offender before she was later released on bail. Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood said at the time: “I’m appealing to Farouk Abdulhak directly: Come back to the UK. Come back to face justice.”

In a statement after the BBC report on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said: “We are aware of the documentary featuring an interview with Farouk Abdulhak.

“Following the discovery of Martine’s body Abdulhak was quickly identified as the only suspect in her rape and murder. Despite the passage of time we continue to do everything in our power to have him returned to the UK to stand trial.”