• Norway's news in English
 

Memory loss mystery man identified as Czech

The Local/AFP · 10 Apr 2014, 10:09

Published: 09 Apr 2014 23:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Apr 2014 10:09 GMT+02:00

"We have have received information through Interpol identifying the man as a Czech citizen," Øyvind Torgersen told VG newspaper. 
 
'John Smith' speaks fluent Czech and excellent English, as well as Polish, Slovak and Russian, and was found unconscious in a snowdrift in an industrial area of Oslo on December 15th. 
 
When he awoke from a two-day coma, he had lost all memory of his identity and nationality. 
 
On Wednesday afternoon, the man expressed his happiness at being identified. 
 
"I had feared it would take a long time to figure out who I was, but it has taken only two days. It's absolutely fantastic," he told VG newspaper. 
 
The tall, young amnesiac was found helpless in the snow near a carwash. How he got there, and from where, "Smith" claims to have no idea.
 
"What apparently has happened is that I was robbed, I was for sure sexually assaulted, and then I was thrown onto a street in Oslo," he told AFP on Wednesday.
 
"What might have happened is that they took advantage of the fact that Europe has open borders -- this amazing European invention -- and that they basically used Oslo as a garbage place to dump me," he said, without knowing who "they" are.
 
Police refused to comment on the more personal aspects of his testimony, but the violent and sexual crime unit has been put in charge of the investigation.
 
"Maybe I was too trustful. Maybe I let some people too close to me and they had some fun with me," said "Smith".
 
Aged about 20, "John Smith" was in a very weak condition and poorly dressed for the severe Norwegian winter when discovered in December.
   
"I was already blue in face," he said. "If nobody saw me, I would definitely have been dead by the morning, most probably much, much sooner."
 
Story continues below…
"I had on my wrists very big, very bloody traces of plastic strips that they use to tie up cables ... It was so tight that even now you can still see spots on my wrists," he said.
 
Police initially turned to international police organization Interpol and more than a dozen nations to compare fingerprints and DNA with their databases to unravel the mystery, but in vain.
 
No closer to a solution, law enforcers took the extra step on Tuesday of releasing the man's photo to the public, in the hope of finding new clues.
 
While 'John Smith' remembers nothing about himself, he is sure of one thing: he is a stranger in Norway.
 
"I don't think I've ever been here before in this country," he said.
 
"I don't think I came to this country out of my own free will because I'm used to a very different weather, a much warmer weather. The weather here is basically hurting me."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norwegian who raped Irish woman in sleep faces appeal
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin, Ireland. Photo: Criminal Courts of Justice

Norwegian who raped Irish woman in sleep faces appeal
14 hours ago

Irish prosecutors are hoping to overturn the suspended jail sentence of a Norwegian man who admitted to raping his Irish girlfriend up to ten times while she slept.

Elderly Norwegians arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
Photo: Colourbox

Elderly Norwegians arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
17 hours ago

A game of bridge had an unexpected ending for 32 club members in Pattaya, including three Norwegian pensioners.

Norway's massive wealth fund drops 73 companies
Demonstrators in Trondheim protest against "an unethical oil fund" in 2015. Photo: Ned Alley / NTB scanpix

Norway's massive wealth fund drops 73 companies
20 hours ago

Norway's huge sovereign wealth fund has sold out of 73 companies last year because their social or environmental policies could hurt profitability.

Norway's windmills smash previous records

Norway's windmills smash previous records
1 day ago

Norwegian windmills produced power like never before in 2015.

Norway top donor at Syria conference
Solberg meets British PM David Cameron at 10 Downing Street prior to the conference. Photo: Anne Marte Vestbakke / NTB scanpix

Norway top donor at Syria conference
1 day ago

Norway on Thursday pledged 10 billion kroner in aid response to the Syrian conflict – one seventh of the entire amount pledged at an international donor's conference.

Statoil cuts investments after heavy 2015 losses
Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

Statoil cuts investments after heavy 2015 losses
1 day ago

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has slashed investments and stepped up a cost-cutting programme after recording a huge annual loss for 2015 in the wake of tumbling oil prices.

Russia to Norway: We’ll only take 200 of 5,000 migrants
An estimated 5,500 migrants used the Storskog border crossing in 2015. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Russia to Norway: We’ll only take 200 of 5,000 migrants
2 days ago

... and we'll only take them if you fly them to Moscow.

Norway wants to return minors to Afghanistan
A man walks on a hilltop overlooking Kabul. Photo: Ahmad Masood/Reuters/Scanpix

Norway wants to return minors to Afghanistan
2 days ago

Backing a centre in Kabul would allow Norway to send back underage asylum seekers.

Video
Norway gives new inside look at world’s biggest seed vault
Screenshot: Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Norway gives new inside look at world’s biggest seed vault
2 days ago

New video from the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture tells the story of what has been called Norway’s “gift to the world”.

Norway daycare drops carnival over gender clichés
The daycare said that too many girls came as princesses, while boys opted for superhero costumes. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Norway daycare drops carnival over gender clichés
3 days ago

When girls dress up like princesses and boys don superhero costumes it reinforces gender stereotypes that can harm children, a Trondheim nursery has decided.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
Norway police to go back to being unarmed
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
Health
Norway doctors push plan for 'tobacco-free generation'
National
Norway's call to remove crosses causes backlash
Politics
Norway tightens asylum policy to cut numbers
Society
The end of the expat? European cities fight for innovative 'inpats'
Education
Hiker finds 1,200-yr-old Viking sword in Norway
National
Oslo eyes ban on private cars from city centre in green push
Culture
Family shocked as The Scream appears in a freshly sawn plank
National
AS-IT-HAPPENED: Nobel Peace Prize announcement 2015
National
Norway armed forces to get organic underwear
International
Syrians cross Norway's Arctic border on bicycles
Society
Norwegians reveal the (hilariously inaccurate) origins of the Danish language
National
Norway man built secret child's room in cellar
Education
Norway starts school for Vikings
Sport
Sepp Blatter should win Nobel Peace Prize: Putin
2,209
jobs available