Vigil for murdered student Martine
PUBLISHED: 12:20 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 07 September 2010
DOZENS of students took part in a torchlit procession through Regent s Park to demand justice for a young Norwegian woman who police believe was raped and brutally murdered nearby. The students of Regent s College staged a vigil with the
DOZENS of students took part in a torchlit procession through Regent's Park to demand justice for a young Norwegian woman who police believe was raped and brutally murdered nearby.
The students of Regent's College staged a vigil with the father of Martine Vik Magnussen, a former pupil at the college who was found dead semi-clothed under rubble in Great Portland Street in March 2008.
The principal of the college and a senior chaplain of the Norwegian church also joined the procession last Wednesday.
They hoped to exert pressure on the Yemen government to extradite Farouk Abdulhak the man police have named as their main suspect in the case.
At a press conference and Martine's inquest earlier that day, Det Chief Insp Jessica Wadsworth said that police had concluded their investigation and the Crown Prosecution Service had judged there was enough evidence to charge Abdulhak with Ms Vik Magnussen's rape and murder.
But she said that because he has moved to Yemen, which Britain does not have an extradition treaty with, the authorities have been powerless to act.
Professor Aldwyn Cooper, principal and chief executive of Regent's College, led the tributes to the 23-year-old at the moving remembrance service.
He said: "Martine was a member of Regent's College and as a community we mourn and miss her. It is often said that people draw a line after incidents like this, but we can't draw a line. The memories are so bitter and sharp. We will not give up until we have justice for Martine."
Torbon Holt, a senior Norwegian chaplain in the UK, told the crowd: "On behalf of Martine's family and the Norwegian community I would like to say how grateful we are for all the support that we have received.
"Life is not only measured in years or length, it is measured in breadth and depth. And Martine meant so much to her family and friends. She was able to bring joy to so many people through her energy, vitality and good spirits."
Ms Vik Magnussen's father, Odd Petter Magnussen, came over to London on Wednesday for the hearing and the memorial event.
At Wesminster Cornoners Court, those attending heard how Martine had died from 'compression of the neck'
It was reported that she and Mr Abdulhak, who were students at the business school, were spotted together leaving London club Maddox in the early hours of the preceding Friday.
"We have been discussing the idea of planting a tree at the college in memory of Martine. I think it's a beautiful idea," her father told the Wood&Vale.
"That is the second reason I would return to London. The first is for a trial into the man suspected of murdering her."
Mr Magnussen led the procession through Regent's Park to the spot where his daughter's body was found.
There he paused, lit a torch and wiped a tear from his cheek.
A friend of Ms Vik Magnussen's, 24-year-old Henna Siphri, said: "I met Martine through a mutual friend and liked her immediately. She was like pure sunshine. She was an energetic person who had the ability to make you feel good about yourself.
"Her death changed my life and ruined my faith in the world. The trust has gone.