UPDATED: Hungarian police have issued an international warrant for the arrest of a Chinese student suspected of murdering his former Norwegian girlfriend in Budapest over the weekend. Now they say he has left the country.
Police in Budapest told reporters on Thursday that the Chinese student, identified as 26-year-old Zhao Fei, flew out of Hungary on Saturday, the same day that police now suspect he murdered Norwegian student Pernille Marie Thronsen.
There was no immediate word on Zhao’s flight destination. Chinese authorities reportedly will cooperate with the Hungarians if the suspect flew home to China and is eventually arrested there.
Newspaper Dagbladet reports that Zhao can’t expect to evade the Hungarian authorities if he’s arrested in China, even though China has no extradition treaty with Hungary. Nor is China a member of the international police agency Interpol.
But a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry told Dagbladet that “in a case like this, the Chinese police authorities will support the search for the suspect.” Both the Hungarian and Norwegian authorities are expected to also seek support for his eventual return to Budapest to face charges against him.
Zhao had already disappeared when the body of the 21-year-old Thronsen was found in a room at a student hostel in Budapest late Sunday afternoon. Norwegian media has since reported that her body was found in a room rented by Zhao, said to be a mild-mannered young man who mostly kept to himself.
He had posted an emotional message, though, on Thronsen’s Facebook page at around 4am on Sunday, that VG Nett reports was removed on Tuesday. The message apparently raised the suspicions of police, as it reportedly claimed “I was in love, I was in pain, I was sick, I can’t even cry, I don’t want to hurt you… I hope you don’t hate me … I hope when I die, we will be together …”
Thronsen, from Oslo, was supposed to start classes in veterinary medicine this week. Oslo police have offered to help in the investigation of her murder.
Advice from another victim’s father
The father of another young Norwegian woman murdered while studying abroad, in London two years ago, urged Norwegian authorities to take a proactive role in the investigation. “Norway is an internationally strong player within ethics, legal rights and human rights, and this must be used constructively,” Odd Petter Magnussen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “It should also be used as an initiative towards the authorities in the suspect’s homeland.”
His daughter, Martine Vik Magnussen, is believed to have been killed by Farouk Abdulhak, the son of a wealthy businessman in Yemen. Abdulhak fled London shortly before Magnussen’s body was found and is believed to be in Yemen, but British police have been unable to bring him to justice because the UK has no extradition treaty with Yemen.
Views and News staff