noscript
Semafor LogoJenna Moon
newsUK

UK court rules man arrested in Scottish hospital is missing US fugitive

Sign up for Flagship, our daily newsletter that distills what’s happening in the world into a concise, insightful morning read.

Sign up for Semafor Flagship: A global, insightful daily briefing.

Title iconThe News

A U.K. court has ruled that a man arrested in a Scottish hospital last year is Nicholas Rossi, a U.S. fugitive and rape suspect sought for extradition.

Nicholas Rossi is shown in this photo from March 2012.
CREATIVE COMMONS/Bbdyn
Title iconKnow More

Rossi claimed that his was a case of mistaken identity, insisting for months that he was Arthur Knight, an orphan from Ireland who had never visited the U.S.

But his distinctive tattoos and fingerprints matched those of Rossi, leading a Scottish court to conclude that he was the same person sought for extradition by the U.S. over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Rossi, who is also known as Nicholas Alahverdian, was arrested last year after staff at the Glasgow hospital where he was admitted with COVID-19 recognized his tattoos. Pictures had been circulated by the global police agency Interpol.

AD

Rossi claimed that he was tattooed while unconscious and his fingerprints had been tampered with in an attempt to frame him, British media reported, allegations dismissed by one advocate as "entirely outlandish."

He will now face an extradition hearing in Scotland.

Rossi is alleged to have faked his own death in 2020, after earlier claiming he had late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma, to escape prosecution in the U.S.

The BBC reports that his accent changed multiple times while he was giving evidence in Scotland.

Title iconNotable

In early 2021 The Providence Journal published an investigation into Rossi. The daily newspaper, which covers Rhode Island, reported that he was likely still alive despite some reports in the media that he had died. The investigation centered around the limited and shaky evidence of his death.

AD