Wheelchair-bound man who denies being US fugitive checked on daily by Scots cops

A wheelchair-bound man, who denies being a US fugitive wanted on rape and fraud charges, is subject to daily bail checks by cops, a court heard.

Prosecutors contend the man is Nicholas Rossi, 34, and he appeared for a bail hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday.

A full extradition hearing was put back until May and the man, who claims he is Arthur Knight, had his bail continued.

The court, which previously heard the man posed a “flight risk”, was told police are visiting his Glasgow address every day as part of his bail conditions.

Defense agent John Good, representing Rossi, said the daily visits may be challenged as “oppressive” if they continue.

His client was arrested at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in December while receiving treatment for Covid-19 after medical staff were shown pictures of him.

Prosecutors say he is Nicholas Rossi who is wanted in Utah in the United States.

A previously issued photo of the Nicholas Rossi wanted in the US.
A previously issued photo of the Nicholas Rossi wanted in the US.

Following his arrest, he was later danced. But last month a warrant was issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody.

At another bail hearing held last Friday, the man was again granted bail.

The man alleged to be Rossi arrived at the sheriff court in a wheelchair with an oxygen mask and hat on. He was accompanied by his partner Miranda Knight Brown who carried his large oxygen tank.

During the hearing before Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC, the man was positioned beneath the sheriff’s bench rather than the dock because of his electric wheelchair.

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After the case called, Mr Good said he represented the accused Rossi or “Mr Knight as he prefers to be known”.

Mr Good said his client was subject to a curfew between 6pm and 6am.

The solicitor said police were “calling every day” at his client’s address and “sometimes late into the evening”.

The extradition hearing was set for May.
The extradition hearing was set for May.

Mr Good asked the court if the police would be able to take a “less stringent view of his bail conditions”.

He said otherwise lawyers for the accused “may have to revisit this as being oppressive”.

Mr Good asked for the extradition hearing to be put back and the Crown did not oppose the motion.

Sheriff Welsh set a preliminary hearing for April 7, where the accused was excused attendance, and a full extradition hearing on May 5.

The Crown said the issue of the man’s “identification” as Nicholas Rossi would be “dealt with at the full hearing”.

The accused wrote notes in a pad during the hearing and attempted to talk a few times but his words under the oxygen mask were inaudible.

The fugitive Nicholas Rossi is said to have faked his own death in the US to avoid prosecution.

The man alleged to be Rossi arrived at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in a wheelchair.
The man alleged to be Rossi arrived at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in a wheelchair.

The man that authorities believe to be Rossi was arrested at the Glasgow hospital by Police Scotland on December 13 under an international arrest warrant on behalf of colleagues in Utah.

Authorities in the US confirmed Rossi was also known as Nicholas Alahverdian in the state of Rhode Island where he was reportedly involved in local politics and was a critic of the state’s child welfare system.

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Rossi reportedly told US media in December 2019 that he had late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma and had weeks to live. Several outlets reported that he had died in February 2020.

The suspect is said to have previously used the names Nicholas Alahverdian, Nick Alan, Nicholas Brown, Arthur Brown and Arthur Knight.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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