EDINBURGH, Scotland (WPRI) — An extradition hearing has begun in Scotland to determine if a man who goes by the name Arthur Knight is actually a Rhode Island man who faked his own death.

United Kingdom and United States authorities have said Knight is actually Nicholas Alahverdian who allegedly fled the country and faked his own death in an effort to escape sexual assault charges in Utah and a financial fraud case out of Ohio.

Knight, 35, was arrested last year after checking himself into a Scotland hospital with COVID-19 symptoms. Prosecutors argued they were able to tell he was Alahverdian after matching the tattoos on his arm.

In July, Knight was arrested again and prosecutors matched Knight’s fingerprints to Alahverdian’s. Knight has staunchly denied that he’s Alahverdian, who’s also gone by Nicholas Rossi and other aliases.

Knight arrived in court Monday morning in a wheelchair and wearing a face mask. He refused to answer questions from reporters.

Last week he unsuccessfully tried to delay the hearing arguing he had just retained a new lawyer (after parting ways with at least six since his arrest in 2021). On Monday, his new lawyer argued the case against his client is unfair and that the proper protocols weren’t followed in the extradition process, according to the BBC.

A fingerprint expert testified that all ten prints taken from Knight are a match to Alahverdian, along with two Scottish police officers who said the tattoos on Knight’s arms matched those taken by the Pawtucket Police Department following a 2010 arrest for domestic violence.

Alahverdian was convicted of sexual assault in Ohio and is accused of raping a woman in Utah in 2008. DNA from the latter was matched to Alahverdian in 2017. He is also wanted by the FBI for allegedly racking up $200,000 in debt by fraudulently taking out credit cards in his then-foster father’s name.

An officer testified that when he was in the hospital, the man identified himself as Knight and denied being connected to the accusations in the U.S.

“I never did those things,” the officer said she was told. “I have never been to America.”

The hearing in Scotland is for a determination of identity and is expected to continue on Tuesday. If the court rules that Knight is Alahverdian, there will be another process to extradite him back to the U.S.

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.