Police say Norwegian business magnate’s wife most likely killed

The wife of a wealthy Norwegian businessman who disappeared eight months ago was most likely killed, police announced Wednesday, adding that the murder was made to look like a kidnapping.

Police say Norwegian business magnate's wife most likely killed
A press conference on the disappearance of Anne-Elisabeth Hagen. Photo: Vidar Ruud/AFP

Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, whose husband Tom Hagen is a real estate and energy magnate, went missing from their home in Lorenskog, near Oslo, on October 31.

The Verdens Gang daily reported that the presumed abductors had demanded nine million euros ($10.3 million) in the cryptocurrency Monero, which is especially hard to trace.

Police at the time refused to confirm the sum but said they had advised the family not to pay.

Online contacts with the presumed kidnappers earlier in the probe were unable to confirm that they were holding Hagen, or that she was still alive.

“As a result, our main hypothesis has been modified: Anne-Elisabeth was killed,” lead investigator Tommy Broske told a news conference.

“There may have been an attempt to disguise the murder as a kidnapping,” he said, declining to state whether police had any suspects in the case.

“The surprising absence of a desire to bank the ransom” was one of the other key factors behind the conclusion, Broske said.

Tom Hagen, in his late 60s like his wife, has an estimated fortune of 1.7 billion kroner (174 million euros, $200 million) according to the magazine Kapital. 


Police to question Norwegian prime minister over Covid-19 rule break

Police are questioning witnesses and have confirmed that they plan to question Prime Minister Erna Solberg after she breached local and national coronavirus rules.

Police to question Norwegian prime minister over Covid-19 rule break
Photo: screenshot Instagram: @erna_solberg

In a statement released on Monday police said they had “started questioning witnesses and are now conducting investigations to find out the circumstances surrounding possible violations.”

Police will also question the PM’s husband Sindre Finnes.

Per Morten Sending, prosecutor for the Buskerud area with the southeastern police district, told newspaper VG police considered it would be “relevant to have a chat with both Erna Solberg and Sondre Finnes”.

Solberg apologized on Friday after it emerged that during her 60th birthday trip to ski resort Geilo, in southern Norway, two private gatherings with more than 10 people present took place, in breach of restrictions in place at the time.

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Police launched an investigation into the two gatherings. Solberg was only present at one of the two.

“For the time being, it is too early to say anything about when we can conclude this investigation. We must conduct interviews to gain clarity on what has happened and whether this can be followed up with regard to local or national (coronavirus) regulations,” Sending said.

“It may also be relevant to question the prime minister and her husband,” Sending added.

Sending told broadcaster NRK that police expect to finish the investigations and questioning later this week.

If prosecuted, the prime minister is likely to face a fine, police told NRK on Friday.

“If they come to the conclusion that rules have been broken, we will of course make up for it. I’m prepared to pay fines if we’ve broken the rules,” Solberg told NRK.