A man who appeared in a Scottish court in a wheelchair and hooked up to an oxygen cylinder has denied being an international fugitive under 16 aliases.
The man, who was traced to an intensive care unit in Glasgow while receiving treatment for covid-19 last December, denied being Nicholas Rossi, 34, who is wanted by Interpol and faces extradition to the United States on an assault charge. sex in Utah.
Following a hearing before Sheriff Alistair Noble on Friday afternoon at Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court, he was remanded in custody after prosecutors described him as a “significant flight risk”.
The individual, who prosecutors believe to be Rossi, is believed to have used the alias Arthur Knight when he was admitted to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow for urgent treatment. It is believed that he was connected to a ventilator in the intensive care unit when he was arrested on December 13.
Rossi, who also used the name Nicholas Alahverdian, told US media in December 2019 that he had late-stage non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had weeks to live. Various outlets reported that he had died in February 2020.
Utah prosecutors accuse Rossi of fleeing the U.S. to avoid a sexual assault charge in 2008. Rhode Island authorities have said Rossi is also wanted in their state for failing to register as a sex offender, while the The FBI confirmed that he faces fraud charges in Ohio.
On Friday afternoon, the man was brought to court by paramedics in his pajamas and socks, with his head covered by a towel.
He was initially granted bail after a virtual hearing on December 23, after appearing via video link from the hospital.
But he did not show up for the hearing on Thursday, prompting Noble to issue an injunction. Police Scotland officers rearrested him at a property in the Woodlands area of Glasgow hours later.
On Friday, prosecutor Jennifer Johnston told Sheriff Noble that the crown believed the man, whom she called Mr. Rossi, should have his bond revoked.
She said the court had granted the man bail because it believed he would continue to be in Queen Elizabeth Hospital for “several weeks” for treatment, but had in fact been released from hospital the following day.
Johnston said police and hospital staff identified the man as Nicholas Rossi from tattoos on his body, but fingerprints had not yet been taken.
During the proceedings, the man could be heard yelling “that’s not true,” and at one point paramedics were called back to court to monitor his well-being.
Johnston said he was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for an assessment following his arrest on Thursday, where a senior doctor found he was well enough to attend court and continue “oxygen therapy”.
There will be a due process hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court on February 10, with a full hearing on whether the man should be extradited on February 17.
Edinburgh Courts Agency and Associated Press contributed to this report
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism