Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear appeal of Peter Nygard bail denial

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The Supreme Court of Canada will not weigh in on the decision to deny Peter Nygard bail. Canada’s highest court on Thursday rejected an application from the former fashion mogul to hear an appeal of the decision.

A court sketch from the first day of Peter Nygard’s bail hearing at Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench on Jan. 19, 2021. Nygard, shown here, appeared by video link from Headingley Correctional Centre. (Tadens Mpwene/La Liberté Manitoba)

The Supreme Court of Canada will not weigh in on the decision to deny Peter Nygard bail. 

Canada’s highest court on Thursday rejected an application from the former fashion mogul to hear an appeal of the decision to deny him bail.

Nygard will remain in jail while awaiting extradition proceedings.

Nygard, 80, has been in jail since he was arrested in mid-December last year on charges filed by a Southern District of New York court, including racketeering and sex trafficking.

He is being held at Headingley Correctional Centre, just west of Winnipeg, awaiting possible extradition to the U.S. on charges that also include transportation of a minor for prostitution and racketeering conspiracy, among other offences.

The charges relate to what the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York alleges is “a decades-long pattern of criminal conduct involving at least dozens of victims in the United States, the Bahamas and Canada, among other locations.”

The extradition proceedings are scheduled to begin Nov. 15 in Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench and are expected to last five days.

None of the allegations against Nygard have been proven in court.

Nygard was denied bail in February by Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Shawn Greenberg, who said she was not satisfied that the bail plan laid out by Nygard’s defence lawyers would ensure he would not contact witnesses or have others contact them. 

Nygard’s defence appealed the decision, arguing Greenberg improperly relied on bail letters from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York — an assertion Appeal Court Justice Jennifer Pfuetzner dismissed.

The bail letters alleged that over the past several decades, Nygard “repeatedly engaged in efforts to obstruct justice and tamper with potential witnesses against him.” 

Pfuetzner upheld Greenberg’s decision and dismissed Nygard’s appeal in March.

His legal team filed for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in May, saying the court should grant the request in order to clarify how the right to reasonable bail applies to a Canadian in an extradition case.

One of Nygard’s defence lawyers, Brian H. Greenspan, said Thursday the dismissal was “not unanticipated” given that the Supreme Court of Canada only accepts a small number of applications for leave to appeal. 

“Mr. Nygard has maintained his innocence and looks forward to being cleared of the allegations against him,” he said. 

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