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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island man accused of faking his own death and fleeing the country to avoid prosecution faced a judge again on Monday.
Nicholas Alahverdian, 35, was taken into custody in Scotland last year after he was hospitalized with COVID-19. Investigators said at the time, he was living under the name Arthur Knight, an identity he’d created after faking his death in Rhode Island in 2020.
It was later determined that Knight’s DNA, which was collected while he was hospitalized, was identical to Alahverdian’s, who faces a sexual assault charge out of Utah. Investigators were also able to match the tattoos on his arms to a booking photo from when he was previously arrested in Pawtucket.
Despite the ruling, Alahverdian – who also goes by Nicholas Rossi – continues to claim he is Knight, an Irish orphan living in Scotland.
Alahverdian’s long-delayed extradition hearing began Monday, during which he attempted once again to hinder court proceedings.
The BBC reported that Alahverdian’s lawyer asked the judge to toss the extradition hearing because his client was moved to a prison in England to be questioned about an alleged rape that happened there.
His lawyer argued that it would be wrong to proceed with the hearing and extradite his client to the United States before knowing whether he would be charged in England.
The judge rejected the request and continued the hearing. Alahverdian entered the courtroom in a legal gown and continued to refer to himself as “Mr. Knight,” while continuing to assert that this was a case of mistaken identity.
The extradition hearing is expected to conclude later this week. It’s unclear whether a decision will be made.
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