A man accused of being US fugitive Nicholas Rossi has told a court there is “mass hysteria” around his case, as he unsuccessfully tried to have reporting restrictions applied to it.
The man, who gave his name as Arthur Knight, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday as part of extradition proceedings against him.
US prosecutors have accused the 34-year-old of raping a woman in Utah, as well as attacks on other women in different states.
He is said to have faked his own death and fled to Scotland to escape the charges.
The man, who insists Arthur Knight is his real name, lives in Glasgow and claims that he has never set foot in the US.
He also claims authorities seeking his extradition have made a mistake.
Last week, he was charged with threatening two hospital medics at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.
On Tuesday, Sheriff Alistair Noble considered a motion to adjourn the extradition proceedings against him until Thursday due to the criminal case in Glasgow.
The suspect was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair, wearing a maroon pyjama top and trousers.
He wore a breathing mask and medics accompanied him with an air bottle. Sheriff Noble agreed to adjourn the notional hearing to Thursday.
The man, representing himself, then sought to submit his own motion to the court in a bid to restrict press reporting.
He said there was “mass hysteria” around the case, claiming it had “turned into a media circus”.
He added that the media had committed contempt of court by “continually referring to me as Nicholas Rossi”.
Read more: Is this man a fugitive rape suspect who faked own death or victim of mistaken identity?
The man claiming to be Mr Knight told the court: “I would submit that it is incredibly important that this case be adjudicated so as not to include the public humiliation I have faced.”
However, Sheriff Noble said: “I have not heard anything that would justify making any sort of order.”
The sheriff said the matter would be considered by a judge rather than a jury so there was no risk of prejudice in the case.
The man alleged to be Rossi was apprehended in Glasgow earlier this year after being admitted to hospital with COVID.
Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said if he had not contracted coronavirus and required medical care, he would probably still be living “off the grid”.
Fingerprints confirm the identity of a man
Earlier this month, a Scottish court heard that fingerprints taken from the man claiming to be Arthur Knight were confirmed to be those of Nicholas Rossi.
The details were revealed as he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on a charge of acting aggressively towards staff at a hospital in the city.
It’s alleged that he shouted, swore, lunged at, and pursued a consultant and senior charge nurse at the QEUH on Tuesday 5 July.
He pleaded not guilty.
Why do US authorities want him?
Nicholas Rossi is wanted in connection with the rape of a 21-year-old woman in Utah in September 2008 and is also alleged to have assaulted women in Rhode Island, Ohio, and Massachusetts.
Authorities in Utah say he fled the US to avoid prosecution and attempted to convince investigators he was dead.
They list multiple aliases he allegedly used including Nicholas Alahverdian, Nick Alan, Nicholas Brown, Arthur Brown, and Arthur Knight.