Peter Nygard Denied Bail in U.S.-Canada Extradition Case

A Canadian judge has denied bail to fashion designer Peter Nygard, who is facing extradition to the U.S. on sex-trafficking charges, saying she was worried he might contact alleged victims.

“I’m concerned that, if released, Mr. Nygard may tamper with witnesses,” Justice Shawn Greenberg said Friday in a hearing in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Nygard, 79, was arrested in December 2020 at the request of the U.S. Prosecutors in New York claim the founder of women’s clothing maker Nygard International took part in criminal conduct over 25 years, including using company money, resources and employees to force dozens of women and minors in the U.S., Canada and Bahamas to have sex with him and his friends.

Nygard has denied the charges. He attended the hearing via video from Headingley Correctional Centre outside Winnipeg, where he has been since December.

Greenberg’s ruling on Friday, which followed three days of hearings, came after two former employees said they would be willing to put up more than C$1.2 million ($940,000) in combined assets to ensure he appears in court, and arrangements were made to install a sophisticated video-monitoring system.

Opaque Finances

The judge said she was satisfied that Nygard would not be a flight risk under the proposed bail plan and said her denial was largely due to her concerns that he would contact witnesses, possibly using former employees to act on his behalf. She also noted Nygard’s history of failing to abide by court orders and the opacity of his financial situation.

Nygard’s counsel also argued that keeping Nygard, who has health issues, in jail during the Covid-19 pandemic amounted to a death sentence. But Greenberg said Nygard’s health risk was only one factor in deciding to grant or deny him bail.

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