First picture: The playboy in socialite murder case who will never face justice - thanks to Abu Hamza

From SAM GREENHILL in Yemen and DAN NEWLING in London

Last updated at 17:03 21 March 2008

The Arab playboy who escaped to Yemen after his ex-girlfriend was murdered will never face justice.

Authorities there are refusing to hand him over in revenge for Britain's handling of hate cleric Abu Hamza's case.

British detectives urgently want to speak to billionaire's son Farooq Abdulhak, who fled to his home country the day after 23-year-old Martine Vik Magnussen was killed near his central London apartment.

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farooq Abdulhak

Suspect: Farooq Abdulhak (centre) and friends at a nightclub last month

But Abdul Kahtan, director of the country's international police force, said yesterday: "He cannot be handed over because our constitution bans extradition."

Diplomats in the Yemeni capital Sana'a suggested the tough stance may stem from Britain's failure to give them hookhanded preacher Abu Hamza, whom Yemen wanted to question about terror offences.

One source said: "For years, Yemen wanted Abu Hamza in connection with terrorism offences, but the British refused to extradite him here.

"Now they have a chance to get one back. It's revenge."

Hamza, convicted of preaching sermons of hate at London's Finsbury Park Mosque, has since been extradited to the U.S. to face terrorism charges there.

Victim: Student Martine Vik Magnussen

The impasse comes as the first pictures of high-living Abdulhak were revealed, showing him laughing and drinking in one of the expensive London nightclubs he frequented.

In the exclusive photographs, 21-year-old Abdulhak is seen posing with friends at Movida nightclub, which is popular with celebrities such as Kylie Minogue.

In one of the pictures - taken last month at a mutual friend's birthday party - Miss Magnussen is seen in the same large group of friends as Abdulhak.

Yesterday one friend claimed that Norwegian Miss Magnussen had been romantically involved with Abdulhak but had recently met another man.

The business student's friends claimed he was extremely well-known among the young, rich and party-loving Arabs living in the capital.

One said: "We all called him DP, which stands for Dom Perignon, which he absolutely loves.

"If there was a party, he was always there. He would go to all the well-known nightclubs and never went home."

Abdulhak and Miss Magnussen were part of a party-loving group of friends attending the £10,000-ayear Regent's College private university in Central London.

They spent last Thursday night at Maddox, a members-only club popular with stars such as Madonna and Keira Knightley.

At around 3am the pair left the club together and got into a waiting taxi.

Two days later Miss Magnussen's body was discovered concealed among rubble and rubbish in the basement of Abdulhak's central London apartment block.

An initial post-mortem revealed that she had been strangled.

Certain items, including her snakeskin shoes and Marc Jacobs handbag, had been taken from her body and are still missing.

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Replicas of the shoes, bag and watch taken from Martine's body

Detectives believe the killer might have removed the items after the murder.

Abdulhak fled London on Saturday, the day before Miss Magnussen's body was discovered, catching a scheduled plane direct to Sana'a.

His prospects of avoiding extradition are greatly enhanced by the fact that his father is one of the richest men in Yemen, with a multi-billion pound oil and manufacturing empire and very close connections to the country's President Abdullah Saleh.

Although the billionaire has publically said that he will disown his son if he is connected to the murder, he has refused to say whether he will force him to return to Britain.

One friend of the family claimed that Farooq Abdulhak could easily remain protected by his father for ever.

However, having enjoyed London's high life for many years, he is unlikely to relish the prospect of spending the rest of his life in the windswept desert nation, which is brutally poor and still dominated by tribal law.

President Saleh has asked to be kept closely informed about developments in the case, which threaten to blow up into a diplomatic row.

It is understood that one of his advisors has suggested that the Abdulhaks pay the Magnussens several million dollars in "blood money2 - a suggestion that is likely to be met with revulsion in Norway.

Miss Magnussen moved to London from a suburb of Oslo in February-last year. After working in a shop in Bond Street for six months, she started studying business at Regent's College.

Detective Chief Inspector Jessica Wadsworth has appealed for anyone with information about the murder to contact the incident room.

She said information was sought urgently in relation to Miss Magnussen's missing belongings, including skinny blue jeans, Guess watch, Christian Dior earrings, Marc Jacobs handbag, costume diamond ring and distinctive snakeskin shoes.

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