Hagen’s lawyer denies that the property and the energy tycoon were involved, and he has not yet been charged with any crimes.
Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, 69, disappeared in October 2018 and the family said that ransom had been demanded for her release, but on Tuesday, Norwegian police arrested Hagen, 70, suspected of having killed her, according to the public broadcaster NRK.
The case was first reported in January 2019, drawing wide attention in a country with low crime rates.
Police say they now believe that Anne-Elisabeth has been killed and has not been abducted and that they have enough evidence to “suspect” Tom of his murder.
“It is important to note that although we have charged Tom Hagen, the matter is still under investigation and several questions remain unanswered,” the Øst police district said in a statement.
“It will be particularly important to clarify the role played by Tom Hagen, to find Anne-Elisabeth Hagen and to determine if other people are involved.”
“As the case first appeared, our main theory was that Anne-Elisabeth Hagen had been kidnapped by someone with financial motives. And in June 2019, we ended up believing that she was probably killed,” said said the police.
“We now believe that there has been no kidnapping and that there has never been any real negotiation. In other words, there has been a clear and well-planned attempt to induce police in error, “the statement added.
The Norwegian legal system allows the police to detain a person suspected of having committed an offense before laying formal charges.
Hagen’s lawyer, Svein Holden, said his client denies the charges.
“He firmly maintains that it has nothing to do with it,” he told a group of journalists, according to Reuters.
Hagen will appear in court on Wednesday, reports the news agency.
Police have asked the court to place Hagen in pre-trial detention for four weeks, barring visits and outside communications, the statement said.
They first kept Anne’s disappearance a secret in order to protect her, but then made the case public in January 2019.
“We can confirm that there is a ransom and that serious threats have been made,” Øystein Stavdal Paulsen, senior adviser in the Eastern Police District of Norway, told CNN.
“Regarding the ransom, we do not want to confirm how much or in what form,” he added.
NRK reported at the time that several messages were found inside the Hagens’ home and that a ransom was demanded in the Monero cryptocurrency.
Hagen, a real estate investor and owner of electrical installations, is one of Norway’s wealthiest men, with a net worth of around $ 200 million, according to Norwegian financial magazine Kapital.
Anne-Elisabeth Hagen was a member of the board of directors of her husband’s holding company until September, according to NRK.
According to the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, the couple lived in Fjellhamar, a village about 19 km northeast of Oslo. The couple married in 1979 and have three adult children.