Man wanted for extradition has ‘similar’ fingerprints to fugitive, court hears

A second forensic expert comparing the fingerprints of a man facing extradition to the US and Nicholas Rossi said they have “similar characteristics”.

Anita Vezza, a Tenprint Identification Officer, was called to give evidence at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

The court is trying to establish the identification of a man, 35, who claims he is Arthur Knight, but whom officials in the United States have said is Nicholas Rossi who is wanted for a rape charge in Utah.

Ms Vezza, 53, confirmed she was asked to compare fingerprints taken by police from the man in HMP Saughton with those of wanted Rossi, which were issued on an Interpol red notice.

Nicholas Rossi court case
The man arrives at court in a prison van (Jane Barlow/PA)

The witness, who has worked in forensics for 16 years, told the court: “I found there were similar characteristics on each that were unique to that person.”

Ms Vezza said when comparing the man’s fingerprints released by police and those of Rossi printed on an extradition request, the left thumb, the right forefinger and the left forefinger “all had similar characteristics, unique to that individual.”

Mungo Bovey KC, defending, asked Ms Vezza if she required a certain number of similarities to reach a particular view, to which she replied: “We don’t use numbers. The way it’s formed is unique to that person, you’re looking for uniqueness.”

Cindy Aze, a registrar of birth, death and marriages for Bath and north east Somerset, was also called to give evidence at the hearing.

She was asked to confirm details on a marriage certificate for a Nicholas Brown, 33, and a Miranda Knight, 33, who were married on February 22 2020 in Bristol.

The certificate said the name and occupation for the father of Nicholas Brown was “unknown”, while for Mrs Knight the details were given.

Sheriff Norman McFadyen adjourned the hearing until Tuesday afternoon to consider legal submissions.