The fingerprints of man facing extradition to the US are identical those of the wanted fugitive Nicholas Rossi, a court has heard.
The court in Edinburgh is trying to determine the identity of the man, who claims he is 35-year-old Arthur Knight, but who officials in the US say is Nicholas Rossi – who is wanted for raping a 21-year-old in Utah.
Lisa Davidson, a Tenprint Identification Officer, was called to give evidence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.
An Interpol red notice document for Rossi’s arrest was shown at the hearing, featuring multiple headshots of Rossi, and his fingerprints.
A document with the fingerprints of the man claiming to be Mr Knight, taken at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh this year, was also shown to the court.
Ms Davidson, who has worked in fingerprint identification for 22 years, was asked by advocate depute Paul Harvey what her conclusion was when she compared the fingerprints on the two documents.
She replied: “I found that they were identical. The fingerprints were identical. All 10 prints were identical.”
Ms Davidson was then asked to compare the man’s fingerprints with those of the wanted man Rossi’s on an extradition request, also shown before the court.
She said the quality of the fingerprints on the extradition request was bad, but said she was able to confirm the left forefinger and thumb were the same as the man’s.
Tattoos are ‘a match’
The court heard the man was arrested on 13 October last year while being cared for at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow after developing respiratory problems from contracting COVID-19.
Charge nurse Ruth Keating, 58, who was on duty at the time, gave evidence to the hearing, telling the court she cared for a patient called Arthur Knight.
She was presented with the same Interpol red notice document featuring images of Rossi, but was asked by Mr Harvey to focus on photos of his arms, which featured tattoos.
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Addressing one photo showing a tattoo of a red cross above an angel wing, Ms Keating said: “That looks like the tattoo I saw on Arthur Knight.”
When Mr Harvey asked her if she could identify Arthur Knight in the court room, Ms Keating pointed to the man.
Dr Robert Hart, 36, an intensive care consultant who treated the man, also recognised the photos shown to him by police as patient Arthur Knight.
He said the tattoos he saw on the patient were a “match” to those shown in the wanted man’s photos.
He told the court the tattoos were “discoloured”, and “the skin around the tattoos was fairly warped”.
Mr Harvey put it to Dr Hart if he had seen similar skin on patients who had tattoos removed, to which he replied: “I am no expert in that.”
Earlier, the man arrived at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in a wheelchair chained to custody officers.
Asked at the beginning of the hearing if he was Nicholas Rossi or Arthur Knight, he replied: “Arthur Knight.”
The man’s lawyer, Mungo Bovey KC, proceeded to tell the court of multiple issues concerning legal proceedings regarding his client and requested the case be adjourned.
He also told the court there were legal concerns over the way the warrant for his arrest was issued and claimed his client did not receive the provisional arrest certificate (PAC) after his arrest in December.
But Sheriff Norman McFadyen rejected the request for adjournment and proceeded with the identification hearing.
The case continues.