EDINBURGH, Scotland (WPRI) — Nicholas Alahverdian told a Scottish judge fellow prisoners are taunting him, including serenading him with John Denver’s hit song “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” and asked for his immediate release from custody.
Alahverdian, 35, the Rhode Island man who faked his own identity and was found in Scotland while being treated for COVID, appeared in a Scottish courtroom Thursday as the extradition process to return him to the United States to face sexual assault charges grinds on.
According to the BBC, Alahverdian told the judge he is being bullied and kept in his prison cell 24 hours per day.
Alahverdian — who was living under the assumed name Arthur Knight when nabbed by law enforcement — also accused prison officials of a “masterful sabotage” in his relationship with his defense attorneys. He is now on his eighth set of lawyers in the United Kingdom.
But prosecutors accused Alahverdian — who also goes by Rossi — of refusing to meet with his attorneys.
In November, a Scottish court determined that the man who went by the name Arthur Knight was actually Alahverdian.
“Knight” was the subject of an extradition hearing after authorities said he fled the United States and faked his own death in an effort to escape sexual assault charges in Utah and a financial fraud case out of Ohio.
Alahverdian was arrested last year after checking himself into a Scottish hospital with COVID-19 symptoms. Prosecutors have said they were able to tell the man was Alahverdian after matching tattoos on his arm.
In July, “Knight” was arrested again and prosecutors matched his fingerprints to Alahverdian’s.
Sheriff Norman McFadyen — the Scottish equivalent of a magistrate judge — denied Alahverdian’s request for bail. A full extradition hearing is scheduled for March.