Nicholas Alahverdian is charged with sexually assaulting a former girlfriend in 2008 in Orem, Utah.
London • Scottish authorities have approved the extradition of an American accused of faking his own death to avoid rape charges in Utah. However, his return to the US could be delayed by another case in the UK.
In response to a request for information, the Scottish government said on Thursday that an extradition order had been signed on September 28 for the man, whom local officials have named as Nicholas Rossi. No further information was provided.
U.S. authorities said Rossi was one of several aliases used by the 36-year-old suspect and his legal name was Nicholas Alahverdian.
According to the Utah County Prosecutor’s Office, Alahverdian is charged with sexually assaulting a former girlfriend in 2008 in Orem, Utah. He also faces multiple charges in Rhode Island for alleged domestic violence.
Rossi can appeal the Scottish government’s decision. His attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment on his client’s plans.
Regardless of what happens in the extradition case, police in England are seeking to question Rossi in connection with an “uncurrent allegation of rape” in the city of Chelmsford made in April 2022. If charges are brought against Rossi in this regard, the proceedings would have to be completed before he could be extradited.
The suspect has already fought a lengthy court battle to prevent his return to the United States since he was arrested in December 2021 at a Glasgow hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19. Rossi, who insisted he was an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight and had never set foot on American soil, repeatedly appeared in court in a wheelchair, wearing an oxygen mask and speaking a British accent.
The government signed the order after Judge Norman McFadyen of Edinburgh Sheriff Court ruled on August 2 that the suspect could be extradited, saying Rossi was “as dishonest and deceitful as he was evasive and manipulative.” The man had said he was framed by the authorities, who took his fingerprints while he was in a coma in order to be able to link him to Rossi.