Ten days after a 23-year-old Norwegian woman's body was found buried under rubble in a London basement, an inquest into her death was formally opened today.
Speaking to ABC News hours after the inquest was opened, a Scotland Yard spokesperson confirmed that police are keen to interview a Yemeni student, Farooq Abdulhak, 21, in connection with his fellow student's death.
According to her friends, who spoke with the police, Martine Vik Magnussen was last seen with Abdulhak in the early hours on Friday, March 14.
Detectives later discovered her semi-naked body on the following Sunday, buried inside the basement of a block of apartments in central London. According to police, Abdulhak lived at the address where Vik Magnussen's body was found.
In a statement released to ABC News, Scotland Yard says that "a post mortem revealed she had significant injuries to her neck," and that she was missing items of clothing and jewelry.
As for Abdulhak, detectives believe that he flew home to Yemen hours after he left London's exclusive Maddox nightclub with Vik Magnussen.
Raised in the Lap of Luxury
The son of one of Yemen's richest men — the industrialist Shaher Abdulhak — Abdulhak grew up in London, and was studying international business management at Regent's College, London, where he met Martine.
Known as the "king of sugar" in Yemen, the father founded Shaher Trading in 1963. Today, his empire, which extends throughout the Middle East and Africa, includes interests in petroleum, soft drinks, hotels, and real estate.
Like Vik Magnussen, whose father is the Norwegian billionaire, Odd Petter Magnussen, Abdulhak grew up in the lap of luxury. Together, the pair frequented expensive London hotspots such as Maddox — a popular haunt for celebrities such as Madonna, P. Diddy and Keira Knightley.
When Martine was last seen by her friends, she was believed to be wearing a pair of Christian Dior earrings, Marc Jacobs snakeskin shoes, and carrying a Marc Jacobs handbag. None of those items were found on her when police discovered the body.
Although many in the British media have reported that Abdulhak was squirreled out of the U.K. by his father, a spokesman for Shaher Abdulhak firmly denied the allegations.
In an interview with ABC News, David Wilson, a spokesman for the father, insisted that, "contrary to media speculation, Mr. Abdulhak did not fly his son out of the U.K., and he is not hiding his son away in some apartment in Yemen."
In fact, said Wilson, since March 13, Shaher has "had no contact of any kind with his son" until he met him two days ago in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, where the son is apparently staying with friends.
In the days after Vik Magnussen's death, Shaher Abdulhak issued a public statement, expressing condolences to the woman's family and insisting that he would not put up with any wrongdoing by a member of his family.
Now, Wilson says that "the Abdulhak family is very upset and concerned that Farooq has been linked to this story and to the tragic death of this young woman."
Although the inspector leading the investigation into Vik Magnussen's death told reporters today that she "would like to invite Mr. Abdulhak to come back to London so that we can discuss the events of March 13 with him," Farooq Abdulhak has yet to make a public appearance, either in the U.K. or in Yemen.