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Friday, September 24, 2021

Peter Nygard denied bail, will await extradition hearing behind bars

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WINNIPEG —
Former fashion mogul Peter Nygard will remain behind bars while he awaits an extradition hearing after a Manitoba judge denied him bail Friday morning.

Nygard, 79, has been in custody since mid-December after he was arrested under the Extradition Act.

U.S. authorities have charged the former fashion executive with nine counts, including sex trafficking. None of the charges have been proven in court and Nygard is presumed innocent.

On Friday, Queen’s Bench Justice Shawn Greenberg read her decision in the bail hearing for Nygard, saying she was satisfied Nygard is a flight risk.

While Greenberg called the revised bail plan – which included an ankle bracelet and the live video monitoring – impressive, she said she also has concerns about witness tampering if Nygard were to be released.

Last week, the head of BIL Security told court the company would monitor Nygard’s Royalwood home around-the-clock using military-grade cameras in order to ensure he doesn’t leave.

Court previously heard the home, which is valued at $989,000, now belongs to former Nygard company executive Greg Fenske. It will be posted as part of Nygard’s bail.

Scott Farlinger, the federal lawyer contesting Nygard’s release, previously told the court that video monitoring only goes so far. He said Nygard is a flight risk, his sureties aren’t adequate, and also expressed concerns over potential witness tampering.

Nygard’s lawyers previously said a total of $1.2 million would be put up as a financial component of their client’s release. They had argued it’s unfair for Nygard to sit in jail, as they don’t yet have a disclosure of evidence in the case against him. They said they are worried if he remains in jail, he could contract COVID-19 and die.

Greenberg said the pandemic is a factor in the bail decision – but only one factor. She said it should not be treated as a “get-out-of-jail-free card.”

Court previously heard an extradition hearing for Nygard likely won’t happen until at least June, and even as late as the fall.

This is a developing story. More details to come.

-With files from CTV’s Josh Crabb and Kayla Rosen

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