Extradition hearing for alleged US fugitive delayed again

·2-min read
The extradition hearing for Nicholas Rossi has been delayed for a further week to allow new counsel to examine documents (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
The extradition hearing for Nicholas Rossi has been delayed for a further week to allow new counsel to examine documents (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Extradition proceedings for an alleged US fugitive who is said to have faked his own death to escape sex charges have been delayed for another week after he instructed a new solicitor.

US prosecutors say the man is Nicholas Rossi, who allegedly raped a 21-year-old in Utah in 2008 and is also alleged to have attacked women elsewhere in the United States.

However, the 35-year-old man claims to be called Arthur Knight, a victim of mistaken identity who has never been to America.

He appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday afternoon via video link from HMP Edinburgh where he has been remanded in custody following his bail refusal last month.

Information from Mr Knight has been haphazard.I have had no opportunity to examine the previous minutes from the case.

David Kinloch - Counsel for Arthur Knight/Nicholas Rossi

The man has instructed solicitor David Kinloch to represent him throughout the extradition hearing but Mr Kinloch asked Sheriff Christopher Dickson for proceedings to be delayed for a further week as he has “little professional knowledge” of the case.

It is understood Mr Kinloch has also applied to the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) for funding to sanction junior counsel with more knowledge of the case.

Mr Kinloch said the information he had received from the 35-year-old was “haphazard”.

He said: “Information from Mr Knight has been haphazard.

“I have had no opportunity to examine the previous minutes from the case.”

The man alleged to be Rossi attempted to raise concerns about his medical treatment within HMP Edinburgh with Sheriff Dickson, but both he and Mr Kinloch agreed it was “not the forum” to examine them.

He had previously claimed he had insufficient oxygen levels while in custody at HMP Edinburgh, but these were previously found to be sufficient.

The man is said to have faked his death and fled to Scotland to evade the rape charge.

After a failure to appear at a previous extradition hearing, he was remanded in custody where he remains.

Sheriff Dickson agreed to continue the hearing until August 18 and the man was remanded in custody in the meantime.