PLAYBOY Farouk Abdulhak’s confession to a cocaine-fuelled ‘sex accident’ death has left more questions than answers.
Talented Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen was found strangled to death in the basement of Farouk’s Fitzrovia flat after partying in Mayfair in 2008.
Speaking for the first time to BBC Two documentary Murder in Mayfair, Farouk has come clean about the 23-year-old's death for the first time.
In a series of text messages, he claimed it was a “sex accident gone wrong” which he described as a cocaine-fuelled “blur”.
Farouk, now 35, has long escaped justice in the UK.
In the hours after her death Farouk fled to Egypt and on to his native Yemen.
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It is believed his late billionaire businessman father Shaher shielded him from going back to the UK to face rape and murder charges.
Now he has confessed to the death but still refuses to face the music. We reveal the five questions the alleged killer must answer to give justice for Martine.
What happened the night Martine was killed?
The pair had been studying together at Regent’s Business School and according to friends Martine had rebuffed Farouk’s advances in the weeks before her death.
Martine and friends partied at celebrity hangout Maddox in Mayfair into the small hours of March 14, 2008. Farouk joined them at 11pm.
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Her father Odd Petter Magnussen said: "Martine was a hard-working and intelligent girl yet with a down-to-earth attitude.
"The night she died she was celebrating end of term with the best results of her class.
"Martine loved life and her family, and with her kind and charismatic personality she brought light into everyday life of so many. It is hard to get to terms with the fact that she was taken away from us and in this way.
"The loss of our beloved daughter and sister has turned life upside down not only for us but for the rest of the family and many friends now struggling to see the meaning of life."
She was last seen leaving Maddox and getting into a cab with Farouk at approximately 3am according to CCTV footage.
In the new BBC Two documentary, he has claimed she died in a sex game which he says is a “blur” due to taking cocaine.
In a post-mortem Martine’s cause of death was determined to be “compression of the neck” and 43 cuts and grazes were found on her body.
Who helped Farouk escape the country?
Martine was reported missing 24 hours later by her flatmates who contacted her family in Norway.
Police searched Farouk’s luxury Fitzrovia flat on Sunday March 16 when suspicions arose that he had deleted his Facebook profile and refused to answer her flatmates' calls.
They found a trail of blood leading from his flat to the basement – where Martine’s semi-naked body lay.
But Farouk had already left the country after flying to Egypt from Heathrow airport in the afternoon of Friday, March 14.
After landing in Cairo, he allegedly took his father’s private jet to Sanaa in Yemen.
In March 2022, the Metropolitan Police arrested a 60-year-old woman on suspicion of assisting an offender but she was never charged.
Could he still be returned to UK?
The UK has no extradition agreement with Yemen, making it impossible for him to be ordered back to the UK.
His late father Shaher was known as the “King of Sugar” due to his business interests in soft drinks.
He was said to have powerful connections in the Yemeni Government – notably former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who stepped down in 2012 and was killed five years later.
Martine’s IT consultant father said the changing political landscape may change Farouk’s position of privilege.
Magnussen said: "When Farouk fled his father was friends with the president at the time, so it offered him protection.
"But the war in Yemen has changed the power demographic and we are hopeful of convincing the regime to return him."
In Murder in Mayfair, Farouk said he was not prepared to return to the UK to speak to police, as it was "way too late" and joked he didn’t like the weather.
What is Farouk’s life like now?
His father Shaher died from cancer in 2020 and it is likely Farouk inherited some of his £6.8billion fortune.
But he also makes his own income, telling a BBC reporter that he now works in stocks and cryptocurrency.
Last year, an anonymous family member told a new documentary on Discovery+ that he leads a reclusive lifestyle in the village of Thaba Abous in southern Yemen.
They said: “Farouk's entire life is staying at home. There is no socialising. There is no going to public places.
“As a close family member, I've known Farouk his entire life and I talk to him almost every day. Nobody comes there. He doesn't really have any friends.
“He's got, I think, like one guard, sometimes two. That's basically his friends.
“Everything is brought into the house. Delivered or picked up. But he's got a patio. It's mostly just a place to get a little bit of sun and air.
'Other than that, he's got his computer and his movies. He spends his life on the internet.”
Will Martine’s family ever get justice?
Martine’s father Odd Petter has been campaigning for Farouk to return to the UK to face trial.
After Martine's inquest in 2010, Magnussen told reporters: “In his culture the father is a very dominant person in the family.
"He is a person with a lot of influential business and I urge him to act ethically."
But via a spokesman Shaher responded: "From day one he said his son should assist the inquiries in any way he can. He did not assist his son. He feels for Miss Magnussen's family and can only try to urge his to son to come forward."
But Farouk says he believes a jury in the UK would find him guilty based on his ethnicity.
He said: “I don't think justice will be served. I find that the criminal justice system there is heavily biased.
“I think they will want to make an example of me, being the son of an Arab. Being a rich son…”
But he doesn’t believe a trial would help Martine’s family: “I don't know what answers they want to get.
“Nothing is going to bring their daughter back. There's nothing that's going to change what happened.”
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But Magnussen warned Farouk via the BBC: “You cannot hide forever.”
This World: Murder in Mayfair airs tonight on BBC Two at 9pm and is also on BBC iPlayer.
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