• Norway's news in English
 
Memory loss mystery man identified as Czech
'John Smith'. Photo: Oslo Police

Memory loss mystery man identified as Czech

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."
 
"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."

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Housemaid jailed for killing boss over will
The judges in the Court of Appeal on Thursday. Photo: Torstein Bøe/NTB scanpix

Housemaid jailed for killing boss over will

A Norwegian housemaid who was set to inherit a fortune from her millionaire employer has lost her appeal against her conviction for his murder. READ  

Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
Mads Gilbert pictured in November. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Gaza doc named Norway's person of year

A outspoken Norwegian doctor whose efforts to treat Palestinians wounded in the Gaza conflict garnered worldwide attention has been named person of the year by the country’s largest tabloid, Verdens Gang (VG). READ  

Norway extends Russian military freeze
Flags photo: Shutterstock

Norway extends Russian military freeze

Norway announced on Friday it is extending a freeze in military cooperation with Russia until the end of 2015 because of its neighbour's role in the Ukrainian crisis. READ  

Prostitute beats off taxman in Oslo court
Oslo District Court. Photo: Mahlun

Prostitute beats off taxman in Oslo court

A prostitute won a landmark victory against police in an Oslo court on Wednesday, when it ruled that police were wrong to claim taxes for the money she had made selling sex in the Norwegian capital. READ  

Solberg: the fight for freedom isn't won
Solberg addresses the press conference. Photo: Terje Pedersen/NTB scanpix

Solberg: the fight for freedom isn't won

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg placed her focus on the international security situation at her traditional six-monthly press conference on Wednesday, and condemned Tuesday’s Taliban attack on a school in Pakistan. READ  

Rwandan man guilty of genocide: Norway court
Prosecutor Marit Bakkevig Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / Scanpix

Rwandan man guilty of genocide: Norway court

A Norwegian court has convicted a Rwandan man of involvement in the killings of 2,000 people during the 1994 genocide in the central African country. READ  

Future Norway envoy withdraws candidacy
George Tsunis speaking to the US senate earlier this year. Source: Screen Grab

Future Norway envoy withdraws candidacy

A much-maligned businessman nominated by US President Barack Obama to be ambassador to Norway has withdrawn his candidacy, saying: "It is over." READ  

Norwegian farmed salmon is safe: report
Norway is the world's biggest producer of farmed salmon. Photo: Terje Maroy/Scanpix/AFP

Norwegian farmed salmon is safe: report

Farmed Norwegian salmon - repeatedly criticized for its supposed effects on health - can be safely eaten even by pregnant women, a new report by experts said on Monday. READ  

Norwegian chief cashes in with share sale
Bjørn Kjos presents Norwegian's third-quarter results in October. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB

Norwegian chief cashes in with share sale

The founder Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos, is planning to sell shares equivalent to 2 percent of the fast-growing budget airline, it was announced on Monday. READ  

Norway seeks answers over mobile bugging
Kjell Ingolf Ropstad, deputy chairman of the parliamentary justice committee, is looking for answers. Photo: Vidar Ruud/NTB scanpix

Norway seeks answers over mobile bugging

Norway's government is under pressure from MPs after revelations this weekend that suspicious mobile base stations sited around Oslo were used to spy on people’s mobile phone use. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Health
Norwegian Ebola victim free of virus
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
Society
Norwegian 'child bride' to marry in Oslo
Society
The fickle five: Meet the Nobel commitee
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
Society
Queen Sonja of Norway's nephew jailed
National
Ex-Norway PM set to become head of Nobel
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
Society
Norway's Princess of the Paranormal under fire
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
National
Photo: Baby cliff edge shocker in Norway
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
Culture
Britney to visit Norway for lingerie launch
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
Features
Meet Norway's raining kings of fashion
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

281
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply