US rape fugitive using ‘tactic’ to delay proceedings, sheriff court told

A man facing extradition to the US is using a “tactic” to try to delay his hearing, a court has heard.

The Nicholas Rossi, 35, is fighting an extradition request by Utah authorities who allege he raped a 21-year-old in the state and attacked women elsewhere in the US.

The man, who says his name is Arthur Knight, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court by video-link for a hearing on Thursday.

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Junior counsel Chris Miller, defending, requested the full hearing, which is due to go ahead on November 7, be delayed into 2023 to allow him more time to look at the case.

But advocate depute Paul Harvey told the court there is an “emerging pattern” in delaying hearings.

He described it as “a tactic” of the man, who he referred to as “the man who the USA authorities seek”.

Mr Harvey said that since the case started in December 2021, Rossi has worked with six different solitors.

Judge Norman McFadyen refused the request for next week’s hearing to be adjourned and confirmed it will go ahead on Monday.

Going nowhere: Nicholas Rossi identification hearing takes place on Monday. (Photo :Jane Barlow)

This will focus solely on the question of the man’s identification, the court heard.

Ten witnesses are due to be called, including police, a GP and a registrar for the prosecution, and the man’s wife for the defence.

Mr Miller then requested bail for the man, which has previously been turned down, but this was refused again.

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The court was then adjourned for a brief moment after the man was heard attempting to speak, and seen raising his hand on the screen.

When the case continued, Mr Miller, who then referred to the man as Mr Knight, made a final request for delays to proceedings following discussions with his client about obtaining a potential birth certificate from Ireland.

But Mr Harvey said the request was “not an appropriate reason” and insisted the man had taken months already to produce the document.

“If it was not produced in the previous 11 months, it is highly unlikely to be now,” he told the court.

The case was continued until Monday with the man ordered to remain in custody until then.



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