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NBC 10 I-Team: Man authorities believe is Nicholas Alahverdian has American lawyer


A man who identifies himself as Arthur Knight removes his oxygen mask during an interview with NBC 10's Brian Crandall. Authorities say he is Nicholas Alahverdian.{ } { }(WJAR)
A man who identifies himself as Arthur Knight removes his oxygen mask during an interview with NBC 10's Brian Crandall. Authorities say he is Nicholas Alahverdian. (WJAR)
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He's trying to prove he's not a rapist on the run hiding overseas.

The man in Scotland who denies he is a Rhode Islander who faked his own death to escape the law now has an American lawyer to help plead his case.

The man who says he is Arthur Knight -- and not Nicholas Alahverdian, also known as Nicholas Rossi -- faces a hearing in Scotland that could send him to Utah to face a rape charge that he's wanted on there.

If he is sent to the United States, he now has a lawyer trying to make his case that he's not who investigators accuse him of being.

“He’s certainly a passionate individual and he has a story to tell,” defense attorney Craig Johnson told NBC 10 News on Friday.

Johnson, from Utah, is now in Scotland working for Knight, preparing for a potential extradition to Utah.

“Certainly, the thrust of our defense will be identity since he is firmly denying, adamantly, that he’s never been to Utah much less anywhere in the United States,” Johnson said.

Since NBC 10 News had the first on-camera interview with the man who claims he is Arthur Knight in late February, he has now conducted a slew of interviews making the same claims, denying he is Alahaverdian, who is suspected of faking his own death two years ago.

He was arrested in Scotland a few months ago and had another court hearing in Scotland Thursday.

“I believe he is Arthur Knight and not Mr. Rossi or any of the other 16 aliases, and that this is a case of mistaken identity,” Johnson told NBC 10 News.

Authorities said the identity was matched with arm tattoos and DNA.

“I think it’s frankly speculation,” Johnson said.

NBC 10 asked Johnson if Knight has the same tattoos.

“He does not. I can say that definitively,” Johnson replied.

Knight has another hearing in a couple weeks to straighten out his situation with Scottish lawyers.

The extradition hearing when he could be sent to Utah is in early May.

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