The multimillionaire Norwegian real-estate tycoon whose wife was believed to have been abducted was arrested in her murder, authorities said Tuesday.
Tom Hagen was arrested on his way to work Tuesday on suspicion of killing his wife, Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, who vanished in October 2018, according to Norwegian police.
“After now 18 months of investigation, police have come to a point where it has reason to suspect Tom Hagen of murder or conspiracy for murder,” Police Lawyer Aase Kjustad Eriksson said Tuesday at a press conference.
The wealthy businessman’s wife, then 68, was believed to have gone missing from the couple’s home east of Oslo in what was investigated as an abduction.
Police initially kept mum about her disappearance, fearing her safety, and only went public with the case in January 2019.
That was when her alleged kidnappers demanded the Hagen family pay a cryptocurrency ransom for 9 million euros ($10.2 million), according to local media.
But authorities were skeptical since the supposed abductors used a method of digital communication that made it impossible to contact them to negotiate.
“There was no kidnapping, no real negotiating counterpart or real negotiations. There are indications of a will to sidetrack [investigators],” Police Inspector Tommy Broeske told reporters Tuesday.
Through his lawyer, Hagen denied the allegations he was involved in his wife’s disappearance.
“He strongly maintains that he has nothing to do with this,” attorney, Svein Holden, told reporters outside the police station.
Hagen is set to appear in court Wednesday but charges aren’t brought in the country’s justice system until much later in the process.
The business mogul was estimated to have a fortune of 1.7 billion kroner ($200 million) by the Norwegian business magazine Kapital.
With Post wires