Dutch investigators join in search for missing key WikiLeaks associate in Norway

AFP-JIJI

The Norwegian police on Monday said Dutch investigators were helping them search for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s associate, Arjen Kamphuis, who mysteriously disappeared in northern Norway three weeks ago.

The 47-year-old Dutch cybersecurity expert has been missing since Aug. 20, when he left his hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo, triggering numerous conspiracy theories on social media.

Two Dutch investigators have arrived in Bodo to help the investigation, the Norwegian police said in a statement on Monday, adding they would stay there for the rest of the week.

“Kamphuis has still not been found and the case is open for different outcomes, but we still haven’t found anything that indicates that a crime has been committed,” they added.

WikiLeaks, which publishes secret information, tweeted on Sept. 2 that his disappearance was “strange.

In photos circulating on social networks, Kamphuis can be seen wearing glasses with half-long blond hair and a thin beard.

WikiLeaks said he had a ticket for a flight departing on Aug. 22 from Trondheim, a city located more than 700 km (435 miles) south of Bodo, but he did not catch it.

A phone linked to Kamphuis was briefly switched on in an area near the southwestern city of Stavanger, located 1,600 km from Bodo, late on Aug. 30, the police said but could not confirm if he was using it.

Assange has been holed up at Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012, when he was granted political asylum as he feared extradition to the United States to face trial over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret U.S. military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010.