A Canadian fashion mogul who was told he would not get out on bail last month is appealing that decision and has hired additional lawyers to help him.
Peter Nygard is appealing a ruling by Justice Shawn Greenburg in February, after the Manitoba judge denied him bail while he awaits a hearing to determine whether he will be extradited to the US.
Nygard, 79, is accused by US lawmakers of numerous counts of sex trafficking of women and minors and one count of racketeering for allegedly using Nygard International resources to do so.
He has denied all allegations against him and none have been tested in court.
A date for the extradition hearing has not been set.
On Feb. 25, Nygard’s legal team, including new Toronto-based lawyer Brian Greenspan, filed an appeal of the decision.
Justice Greenberg said she was worried about Nygard possibly tampering with witnesses on bail, and also pointed out the number of times he has failed to respond to court orders in the Bahamas.
While there would be a no-contact order between Nygard and witnesses and others, Greenberg said she has “no confidence” he would comply with that order.
Nygard’s legal team says that decision was based on a bail letter “submitted by the United States prosecutors in which they provide inaccurate or incomplete information about the evidence,” they write, adding the bail letter was not independently corroborated by other documents.
They say that Greenburg also made “unsupported factual findings regarding Greg Fenske which contributed to her decision.”
Fenske, a former employee who offered himself as a surety for Nygard, was grilled during a three-day hearing about who controls company assets and who paid for the property he offered to let Nygard stay in.
Greenberg said it appeared Fenske had nothing to lose, which defeats the purpose of a surety, and those doubts contributed to her decision.
Read the appeal:
Nygard’s legal team also put forth an idea for an independent forensic consultant to monitor all of Nygard’s communications, should he be granted bail.
Global News has reached out to Nygard’s legal team for comment.
Nygard has been in jail in Manitoba since his arrest Dec. 14, 2020, and has been arguing for bail since January.
The Justice Department of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleges Nygard used company funds, employees and resources to “recruit, entice, transport, harbour and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims for Nygard’s sexual gratification and, on occasion, the gratification of Nygard’s personal friends and business associates.”
His lawyers say that Nygard’s declining health and the risk of contracting COVID-19 while in prison puts him at an unacceptable risk of illness or death.
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