Matthew Steeples suggests the BBC’s ‘Murder in Mayfair’ provides the family of 2008 murder victim Martine Vik Magnussen with no concrete answers and certainly leaves them no closer to justice; cowardly cokehead Farouk Abdulhak should now be dragged to Britain kicking and screaming
Last night’s BBC documentary Murder in Mayfair was somewhat ambitiously billed as a “gamechanger” in some quarters and lauded as likely capable of resulting in billionaire playboy Farouk Abdulhak being “extradited to Britain within a year” for the alleged murder most foul of Martine Vik Magnussen in London on 14th March 2008.
In reality, whilst some will quite rightly argue that the programme’s presenter Nawal Al-Maghafi has brought something new to this tragic story by engaging with the on-the-run in Yemen only suspect in the case via Snapchat, I’d say that sadly she stopped engaging with Abdulhak at just the wrong moment and should have gone further.
In what was described to me afterwards as “teen drama stupidity presentation with all that Snapchatting” and a presentation that “cracked the nut open, but didn’t follow through and get a conclusion” by two beady eyed viewers with knowledge of the case, Al-Maghafi produced a documentary that The Sun’s Katy Docherty rightly pointed out “left more questions than answers.”
During the show, Abdulhak – the son of a deceased business tycoon named in the Panama Papers nicknamed ‘The King of Sugar’ and a rat himself prone to vulgarly using the moniker ‘DP’ because of his penchant for consuming vast amounts of Dom Perignon champagne – was shown to engage with Al-Maghafi and shared remarks that included:
- “I don’t know what happened, it’s all a blur.”
- “I have flashbacks every once in a while.”
- “If I smell a certain female perfume, I feel uncomfortable.”
- “I deeply regret the unfortunate accident that happened. I regret coming here [Yemen]. Should have stayed and paid the piper.”
- “It was just an accident. Nothing nefarious.”
- “Like told you, just a sex accident gone wrong.”
- “No one knows because I could barely piece together what happened.”
He subsequently added that he blamed cocaine for what occurred and added: “Trust me I’m legally f**ked… Leaving the country and the body was moved.” Asked: “Why did you move the body?” by Al-Maghafi, Abdulhak cryptically answered in a very convenient “recollections may vary” style: “I don’t remember.”
Going further this spoilt brat former Regent’s Business School (RBS) pupil – who supposedly now spends his days playing on the Internet with just two bodyguards as ‘friends’ – arrogantly tried to justify his actions. He claimed he had not returned to Britain because:
“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.”
“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.”
Speaking to the presenter – who sadly missed an opportunity to delve deeper because she rather pathetically didn’t seem to feel comfortable doing such – subsequently, the victim’s father Odd Petter Magnussen shared that he had been offered £41 million ($50 million, €46 million or درهم184 million) to drop the case and “move on.” This courageous man remarked that he had rejected that and told Farouk Abdulhak: “You cannot hide forever.”
Elsewhere, in a post on Facebook on 18th December 2022 on the ‘Justice for Martine Vik Magnussen’ group but something not examined in any real depth in Murder in Mayfair unfortunately, it was stated:
“On 7th December 2022, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that on 19th November Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt had a conversation with Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak in the Yemeni government-in-exile about Martine’s case.”
“Ahmed bin Mubarak confirmed that he had sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior for the authorities to do what they could to arrest Farouk Abdulhak. This also means that an arrest warrant has been circulated to the airports in the country. Following the meeting on 19 November, the Norwegian Foreign Service received a verbal note from Yemen’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirming that this has been done.”
“Foreign Minister Bin Mubarak also expressed great sympathy for Martine’s family.”
Going further, in January, lawyer Patrick Lundevall-Unger remarked in a post shared on the same Facebook group:
“The controversial state act by the then Sahle regime to harbouring an Egyptian fugitive wanted for rape and murder, should be corrected by the present authorities in Sanaa.”
“Most of all, however, we appeal to the suspect himself to voluntarily return from his residency in Sanaa to the UK.”
“Potential escape routes, such as going by speed boat from Yemen to Djibouti onwards to family in Ethiopia, will not work in the future.”
“Farouk, I therefore appeal to you to come to your senses and deliver on fundamental justice for Martine and beyond. Without justice in the world, we cannot have peace – the two are intertwined. The same applies to you Farouk! Farouk: you can contribute to justice thereby finding your own peace!”
Mr Lundevall-Unger is bang on the nail; it is time for Farouk Abdulhak to put away the Snapchat and the coke and it is time instead for him to man-up and face the fact that he’ll never be free of this saga until he returns to Britain and finally tells the truth about what happened that fateful night.
Editor’s Note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party. Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples.
Pictured Top – Coldblooded cokehead Farouk Abdulhak pictured in 2022 (left) and innocent victim Martine Vik Magnussen (right).
Anyone with information that may assist in achieving justice for the Vik Magnussen family should telephone the Metropolitan Police on +44 (0) 20 8358 0300 or Crimestoppers anonymously on +44 (0) 800 555 111.
To watch ‘Murder in Mayfair’ on the BBC iPlayer, click here.