Extradition of rape suspect accused of faking own death approved by Scottish ministers

The extradition order of a rape suspect accused of faking his own death to the US has been approved by Scottish ministers.

Nicholas Rossi, who claims he is an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight, has been at the centre of a long-running extradition battle in Edinburgh and a court ruled in August that he should return to the US to face serious sex charges.

American law enforcement officials claim he is a fugitive who fled to the UK to evade justice.

But Rossi, 35, claimed he is the victim of a “stitch-up” by UK and US authorities.

He is wanted by authorities in Utah for the alleged rape of a woman in 2008.

Rossi also faces a number of complaints for alleged domestic violence in Rhode Island.

An international game of hide and seek ended when Rossi was tracked down via an Interpol red notice while unconscious in a COVID hospital ward in Glasgow in 2021.

He was arrested after his tattoos and fingerprints were matched to documents held by the National Crime Agency.

More from UK

Rossi claimed the tattoos were imprinted on his body while he was in a coma fighting coronavirus – a suggestion branded “scandalous” by a Scottish sheriff.

The defendant leaving Edinburgh Sheriff And Justice Of The Peace Court, for a hearing on the extradition of Nicholas Rossi to the US, where he is wanted after allegedly fleeing the country in 2017 to evade charges involving identity theft and fraud, and a 2008 sexual assault charge in Utah. The man, who goes by at least ten other aliases, including Nicholas Alahverdian and Arthur Knight, denies he is Rossi. Picture date: Tuesday July 12, 2022.
Rossi claims he is the victim of a “stitch-up” by US and UK authorities

A Scottish court ruled in November last year that he was the suspect American officials have been trying to track down.

Rossi has deliberately delayed extradition proceedings by claiming he is the victim of mistaken identity.

His legal bill – costing tens of thousands of pounds – is being paid for by taxpayers.

A court ruled in August there was no impediment to the 35-year-old being extradited and the decision was then placed before Scottish ministers.

The Scottish Government confirmed under Freedom of Information legislation on Thursday that his extradition order was signed on 28 September.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive Breaking News alerts on a smartphone or tablet via the Sky News App. You can also follow @SkyNews on X or subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the latest news.