US fugitive Nicholas Rossi extradited from Scotland

The 36-year-old was the subject of lengthy legal proceedings as he tried to avoid being sent to America.

Craig Paton
Friday 05 January 2024 16:34 GMT
Nicholas Rossi has been extradited from Scotland (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Nicholas Rossi has been extradited from Scotland (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Archive)

A fugitive suspected of faking his own death has been extradited from Scotland to the US to face charges including rape following a lengthy case in the Scottish courts.

Nicholas Rossi, 36, had claimed he had been the victim of mistaken identity – telling courts he is an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight.

But a sheriff ruled he is Nicholas Rossi, and Scottish ministers signed an extradition order last September.

Rossi’s appeal against extradition was dismissed in December, paving the way for him to be removed from the country.

We assisted partner agencies with the extradition of a 36-year-old man

Police Scotland

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said on Friday: “We assisted partner agencies with the extradition of a 36-year-old man.”

Rossi is wanted in the US for allegedly raping a woman in Utah in 2008 and also faces domestic abuse charges.

He is alleged to have faked his own death before hiding out in Scotland.

It is understood police in Essex are also investigating him in relation to a non-recent allegation of rape.

He was arrested last year in connection with that investigation and has been bailed until March.

Rossi initially came to the attention of authorities when he was in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow in 2021, where he was being treated for Covid-19.

The subsequent case gathered international attention for its bizarre nature, with Rossi – who would be taken into court in a wheelchair while using an oxygen mask – steadfastly claiming he was Knight.

In his appeal against extradition heard in the autumn, Rossi – who repeatedly criticised his own lawyers – represented himself, making claims including that he would not receive a fair trial in the US because he was investigating those seeking to extradite him, that he had been denied medical care in prison, and hitting out at what he called a “media circus” surrounding the case.

But the decision of Lady Dorrian, Lord Malcolm and Lord Armstrong said much of the material Rossi had included in his note of appeal had “absolutely no relevance” to it and the “only vaguely recognisable ground” he submitted was that of defective representation.

The decision concluded with a reference to a sheriff’s previous statement about facets of Rossi’s character complicating what he considered to be “a straightforward case”.

It said: “We agree with the sheriff that the appellant’s case is, at its core, a straightforward one.

“The evidence supporting that the appellant is Nicholas Rossi was overwhelming. He did not, nor does he now, produce anything which would suggest to the contrary.

“The conspiracy theories which he tendered in explanation were properly rejected. The sheriff carefully considered the submissions made on the appellant’s behalf as to the potential barriers to his extradition.

“Having heard evidence from various medical witnesses, there was quite simply nothing to support that he was suffering from any mental health condition, far less one which would render it unjust or oppressive to extradite him.”

They said “nothing placed before the court demonstrates that the appellant’s trial would either be unfair or that any of his other convention rights would be violated if extradited”.

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