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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Neil Pooran

Nicholas Rossi: Scottish ministers sign extradition order for rape suspect wanted in US

Scottish ministers have signed an extradition order for Nicholas Rossi, who is wanted in the US on a charge of rape and is accused of faking his own death to avoid prosecution.

The decision by the Scottish Government means Rossi can now be moved to America, where he is wanted by authorities in Utah for allegedly raping a woman in 2008.

He also faces multiple complaints against him in Rhode Island for alleged domestic violence.

In August, a sheriff ruled there is no impediment to Rossi being extradited, following a series of hearings at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Norman McFadyen branded Rossi “as dishonest and deceitful as he is evasive and manipulative”.

As well as Rossi’s claims that he is actually an Irish orphan called Arthur Knight, his claims about his medical conditions have also been disproven by expert witnesses.

He repeatedly attended court in a wheelchair with an oxygen bottle, but a doctor told the court his legs are “strong and athletic”.

On Thursday, the Scottish Government revealed in a freedom of information response that a decision in his case had been made in September.

It said: “The Scottish ministers have made their decision regarding Mr Nicholas Rossi and signed an extradition order on September 28, 2023.”

The decision is the latest development in a long-running case in the Scottish legal system, which began with Rossi’s arrest in a Glasgow hospital in December 2021.

During a week-long hearing in June this year, Rossi wore what appeared to be a black legal gown and a yarmulke – a hat worn by Orthodox Jewish men.

Questioned about his dress in court, Rossi claimed the gown was actually called a bekishe, an overcoat also worn by Orthodox Jewish men.

He converted to Judaism while in HMP Edinburgh, where he has been held since 2022.

In his August ruling, Sheriff McFadyen said Rossi’s deceitfulness had “undoubtedly complicated and extended what is ultimately a straightforward case”.

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