The US authorities are attempting to extradite a rapist named Nicholas Rossi, who apparently faked his death and moved to the UK.
But the man police believe is Rossi – who allegedly looks identical to the missing man and even has the same tattoos – maintains that he is an innocent British-born man named Arthur Knight.
And in a bizarre interview with Andrea Canning on US TV show Dateline, Rossi – also known as Nicholas Alahverdian – tearfully insisted that he was not the wanted man.
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“I am not Nicholas Alahverdian. I do not know how to make this clearer,” he insisted. He appeared to be speaking in an English accent, but his voice was muffled by an oxygen mask.
Sitting with his British wife, Miranda, “Arthur Knight” claimed: “We were once a normal family, but thanks to the media our lives have been interrupted.
“We'd like privacy and I would like to go back to being a normal husband,” he said, “but I can't because I can't breathe, I can't walk."
He demonstrated his inability to walk by trying to stand up from his wheelchair, before collapsing theatrically.
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Several observers commented that “Knight’s” shoes looked exceptionally well-worn for a wheelchair-bound man.
When the interviewer suggested that he might be faking his disability, he complained: “That is a low blow, that is a very low blow."
He was arrested in October, 2021 after being admitted to a Glasgow hospital suffering from Covid-19. He claims that it’s a particularly severe case of Long Covid that has left him dependent on an oxygen tank.
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While he was in hospital, staff there had concerns about his true identity and realised that his description matched that of a man wanted on an international arrest warrant .
He insists that the distinctive tattoos that enabled police to identify him had been added by hospital staff while he was unconscious..
Rossi, 35, is wanted for sex offences committed in the US states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Utah and Ohio, as well as a major fraud. He also owes some $52,000 (£42,000) to his ex-wife.
The bizarre interview was filmed just weeks after Rossi was arrested but aired for the first time in America on Friday night.
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