(WPRI) — The man prosecutors believe is a former Rhode Islander who faked his own death to avoid prosecution claims he’s being tortured in prison, according to Scottish media reports.
Arthur Knight appeared virtually in court Thursday and accused officers at Her Majesty’s Prison in Edinburgh of cutting off his oxygen supply and punching him in the face.
Knight, who was “coughing and crying” throughout the proceedings, repeatedly told the court he needed to go to a hospital.
“This is a 999 emergency,” he said. “I’m dying and nothing is being done. I’m being tortured.”
Knight was arrested earlier this year after authorities were able to match his DNA with that of Nicholas Alahverdian, who’s been charged with rape out of Utah County and allegedly died of cancer in Rhode Island two years ago. That DNA was obtained while Knight was hospitalized with COVID-19 in Scotland.
Prosecutors believe Alahverdian, who’s also gone by the name Nicholas Rossi and a host of other aliases, moved to Scotland after faking his own death in 2020.
Alahverdian is now awaiting extradition back to the United States after being arrested for reportedly threatening staff at a Glasgow hospital. The court in Scotland determined Knight was a flight risk and denied him bail.
Knight has maintained that authorities have the wrong guy.
In an interview with 12 News in April, Knight claimed he was born Nicholas Brown in Ireland in November 1986. He has no proof of that, however, which he blames on Irish law and a lack of access to his birth certificate and other records from his early life.
Knight pleaded with Sheriff Chris Dickinson, who was overseeing the trial, to grant him bail.
“My mental health is deteriorating and I’m hallucinating. I’m seeing things that I’ve never seen before,” Knight claimed. “I’m not being afforded basic human rights and I’m at risk of death.”
Dickinson, however, rejected that request and told Knight’s legal counsel to submit a bail application.
Knight’s legal counsel asked the extradition proceedings be extended until November. But Dickinson rejected that request as well and continued the hearing until Sept. 15.