Boycott hits murder suspect’s father

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A recent boycott of Coca-Cola products in Norway, aimed at getting the huge beverage maker to sever ties with the father of a murder suspect, seems to be yielding some results.

As the boycott ended this week, Coca-Cola itself reportedly was suspending its business deals with Shaher Abdulhak, a wealthy businessman in Yemen who’s believed to have been shielding his son Farouk Abdulhak from murder charges in England. The younger Abdulhak is charged in the rape and murder of Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen, who was last seen leaving a London nightclub with Abdulhak. He fled the UK the next day. Her body was later found in the basement of Abdulhak’s London apartment house.

Yemen has no extradition treaty with either the UK or Norway, so police have been frustrated in their attempts to bring Abdulhak to justice. Friends and family of Magnussen, in addition to every political party in the Norwegian Parliament, have thus been urging major multinational companies to stop doing business with the Abdulhak’s family firm Shaher Trading. Daimler Benz already has gone along, and now Coca-Cola, electronics giant Philips and appliance maker Whirlpool are cutting business ties with Abdulhak, reports Oslo newspaper Aftenposten.

“We are naturally very satisfied that Coca-Cola has taken this issue to the top of its international organization and reached the right conclusion,” Sturla Ellingvåg, who initiated the boycott of Coca-Cola in cooperation with a foundation dedicated to the memory of Martine Vik Magnussen, told Aftenposten. “We commend them for that.”

A lawyer for Abdulhak refused to answer questions about the matter, according to Aftenposten.

Views and News staff