Manitoba

Peter Nygard denied bail, will remain in custody

Former fashion mogul Peter Nygard was denied bail by a judge in Winnipeg following more than two days of hearings and now faces possible extradition to the United States to face multiple charges of sexual assault. 

Former fashion mogul faces possible extradition to U.S.

Peter Nygard, 79, appears at a Jan. 28 bail hearing via video link from Manitoba's Headingley Correctional Centre. (Tadens Mpwene/La Liberté Manitoba)

Former fashion mogul Peter Nygard was denied bail by a judge Friday morning in Winnipeg following more than two days of hearings and now faces possible extradition to the United States to face multiple charges of sexual assault. 

Justice Shawn Greenberg said she was not satisfied that the bail plan laid out by Nygard's defence lawyers would ensure the former fashion mogul would not contact witnesses or have others contact them. 

Nygard, 79, has been in custody since he was arrested at a Winnipeg house on Dec. 14. He is accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women and girls over a 25-year period and faces possible extradition to the U.S. on those allegations.

He appeared in Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench on Friday morning via teleconference from Headingley Correctional Centre. He seemed to have little reaction when Greenberg gave her decision.

U.S. authorities now have until Feb. 12 to make a formal request for Nygard's extradition. 

WATCH | Nygard denied bail, faces possible extradition:

Peter Nygard denied bail

CBC News Manitoba

5 months ago
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Former fashion mogul Peter Nygard was denied bail by a judge Friday morning in Winnipeg following more than two days of hearings and now faces possible extradition to the United States to face multiple charges of sexual assault. 2:08

Once that is received, the federal department of justice will have 30 days to decide whether to proceed.

Nygard's son, Kai Zen Bickle, says he prepared himself for either outcome but was relieved to hear his father would remain in custody. 

"It was definitely the right decision. I hugged my mother," he said.

Given the seriousness of the accusations against his father, Bickle sais he worried that he would try to escape if released.

"Now that he's tasted prison, that he's been arrested, that he sat behind those walls, if you were to let him out, there is no way that this guy is going to sit there and not be plotting a way to get the heck out of the country," Bickle said.

Nygard's bail hearing, which started on Jan. 19, was originally scheduled for two days. On Jan. 20, his defence team was given more time after Greenberg raised concerns with the defence team's original bail plan.

Court heard last week that Nygard would live at a home owned by a numbered company formed by Greg Fenske — a former Nygard company executive and one of the people who came forward as a surety for Nygard. 

Nygard's defence lawyers also said that the home would be monitored by BIL Security Services using real-time, high-definition video of the entries, exits and perimeter of the house in Winnipeg's Royalwood neighbourhood, 24 hours a day

In addition, defence lawyer Jay Prober disputed a recent CBC report that Nygard has a valid passport.

Concerns over potential evidence tampering

Greenberg said Friday while she is satisfied that the revised bail plan presented in court would prevent Nygard from being a flight risk, she is concerned that he may tamper with evidence. 

She also said she was concerned about his failure to appear in court in the Bahamas on several occasions.

In addition, Greenberg said she has serious apprehensions about Greg Fenske, saying that he has shown an unwillingness to follow court orders and said he deleted a thousand documents after a grand jury subpoena ordered the detention of all documents related to Nygard's case.

The judge said that while she accepts that Nygard's fortune has declined, she didn't believe that he wouldn't be able to afford to renew his passport. She also didn't buy that Nygard has no remaining assets other than his Bahamas house and a Falcon Lake cottage. 

Nygard has always maintained his innocence and has accused the women of lying as part of a conspiracy to tarnish his reputation.

CBC News has reached out to Nygard's defence lawyers for comment. Scott Farlinger, the lawyer for the attorney general of Canada, declined to comment. 

With files from Caroline Barghout and Karen Pauls

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