An arrest warrant for the son of billionaire Farouk Abdel-Haq, the man suspected of killing Norwegian Martin Vik Magnussen in London in 2008, is now due at Yemen’s airports.
Exile authorities in Yemen inform the Norwegian authorities.
It marks a new, hopefully positive, twist in the unsolved murder case, hopes attorney Patrick Lundeval-Unger, president of the Martine Foundation.
– There is hope that the Houthi group, which controls the area where suspect Farouk Abdelhak resides, will now ally itself with the Yemeni government-in-exile, Londeval-Unger tells Dagbladet.
flee to Yemen
Shortly after the 2008 murder of Martin Vik Magnussen, Farouk Abdel-Haq fled London to Yemen, where his billionaire father, Shaher Abdel-Haq, is from.
Britain does not have an extradition treaty with Yemen, and since then the issue has become a diplomatic thorn in its side.
Six years after the killing, in 2014, the nut is hard to crack.
Then the civil war broke out in Yemen, and the country’s government at that time was forced to flee the capital, Sana’a, where the Houthi group now rules.
– According to the Norwegian authorities, the government-in-exile had previously expressed that it would have handed over Farouk Abdel-Haqq today, if it took control of Sanaa and the area where Abdel-Haqq is located, says Lundevall-Unger.
“circulate an arrest warrant”
On November 19 of this year, Norwegian Foreign Minister Anken Huitveldt (AP) met with exiled Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak.
The Yemeni foreign minister there said that Abdul-Haqq resides in an area controlled by the Houthis, and that the local authorities know that Abdul-Haqq is wanted by Britain.
The Yemeni foreign minister also confirmed that he had sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior for the authorities to do what they could to arrest Abdul Haq. It also means that an arrest warrant has been circulated to airports in the country,” says an email sent by the Foreign Office to Odd Peter Magnussen, the father of Martin Vik Magnussen.
Following the meeting, Yemeni authorities in exile confirmed that this had been done, as stated in the e-mail from the State Department.
– This is something completely new. We do not know concretely what the Houthi group actually did at Sanaa airport, but we interpret that to mean that they are aware of the arrest warrant, and that there may be reasons to take action, says lawyer Londeval Unger.
– it’s time
The head of the Martin Foundation described it as “extremely important” that the Norwegian authorities continue to demonstrate their commitment to this matter.
– We all know that the crime scene is in London, and that the British are responsible for bringing Farouk Abdel-Haq to justice, but the Norwegian authorities are still obligated to provide consular assistance. Now is the time to apply more pressure, says Lundevall-Unger.
When asked what that means in practical terms, the lawyer refers to the past.
In 2019, the Martin Foundation invited Yemen’s exiled interior minister to Norway for talks on the extradition of Abdel-Haq.
– The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not want to participate in these talks, and the Yemeni minister did not issue an entry visa to Norway either. Now we think the time might be right to look more closely at some sort of cooperation agreement, and try to invite ministers from the Yemeni government-in-exile to Norway, says the lawyer.
The lawyer believes that even if the government-in-exile is in armed conflict with the Houthi group, which now controls the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, the government-in-exile can still exert pressure on the Houthi group.
– After the end of the civil war, the Houthi group wants a place in power. So they may be interested in showing that they are serious about their rhetoric and that they support democratic principles, Lundevall-Unger says.
The matter also came up at another meeting Foreign Minister Huitveldt participated in recently, according to an email from the State Department.
On December 5, Huitfeldt met with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. During the meeting, the murder of Martin Vik Magnussen was discussed.
“(Cleverly, journal.anm.) confirmed that this case remains a priority in the police in London, and that the British Foreign Office is also following up on it,” reads the email from the Norwegian Foreign Office.
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