Extradition case for man said to be Nicholas Rossi delayed again
An extradition hearing for a man accused of being Nicholas Rossi – an alleged US fugitive said to have faked his death to evade sex charges – has been delayed again over legal issues.
The 34-year-old claims to be Arthur Knight, a victim of mistaken identity who has never been to America.
But US authorities want to extradite the man, who they say is Nicholas Rossi, so he can answer a rape charge in Utah.
He was arrested at a Glasgow hospital, where he had checked in with Covid, and has been making headlines ever since.
At a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, the man, who arrived in a wheelchair wearing an oxygen mask, was asked if he is Nicholas Rossi.
He replied: “No, I am not.”
Solicitor Becky Houston, defending, told the court she was appearing for “Mr Knight”.
The court then heard the man’s identity remains in dispute.
Ms Houston asked for the man’s full extradition hearing, originally set for May 5, to be “discharged”, with that date used for a “procedural hearing” instead.
She said she understands the man, who has previously failed to appear in court with legal representation, has contacted “a number of solicitors”, adding: “I hope to have a lengthy consultation in due course.”
Fiscal depute Clare Kennedy said it would be “sensible” to hold a preliminary hearing on May 5.
Sheriff Norman McFadyen, overseeing, said he is concerned the case has been “going on a little while” but agreed to the request.
A full extradition hearing is now set for June 9 at 10am, with the man’s bail conditions continuing until then.
In a previous hearing on April 7, the man failed to appear with legal representation.
He was urged to find a lawyer “with haste” and given a two-week deadline.
US prosecutors claim the man, who they believe is Rossi, raped a 21-year-old in Orem, Utah, in 2008.
He is alleged to have faked his own death before hiding out in Scotland where he has been arrested twice – the first time being in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he was almost dying of Covid, and the second after he missed an initial extradition hearing in January.
Rossi, who is said to have a number of other aliases including “Nicholas Alahverdian”, is also claimed to have attacked women in Rhode Island, Ohio and Massachusetts.