Canadian justice refused Friday the request for release on bail of Canadian millionaire Peter Nygard, arrested at the request of American justice, who is demanding his extradition on several charges of sex crimes.
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Judge Shawn Deborah Greenberg said she was satisfied with the security measures presented by the defense for her release, when her decision was read in court in Winnipeg, Manitoba. But she expressed concern that Mr. Nygard might come into contact with and intimidate witnesses or victims, adding that he had failed to comply with court rulings at least five times in the past.
Peter Nygard’s defense asked for his release on bail in January, expressing fears that his 79-year-old client could contract Covid-19 in prison.
The judge dismissed this argument, pointing that only seven cases of coronavirus were identified among the 500 inmates of the Manitoba prison where the millionaire is incarcerated.
Peter Nygard, who appeared on video, was unmoved as the judge rendered her ruling, according to courtroom media.
The defense had presented a “solid plan of release on bail”, to avoid any risk of absconding, but this check would have simply made it possible to verify that the accused was physically at his home.
“This does not ensure that he will not contact victims or witnesses, or that he will not involve other people for this purpose,” said the judge.
She also underlined the gravity of the charges against Mr. Nygard, considering that those of sex trafficking are “disturbing”.
Mr. Nygard faces nine counts, including racketeering and sex trafficking, involving “at least a dozen victims in the United States, Bahamas and Canada, among others”, according to the indictment filed in Manhattan Federal Court.
The acts with which he is accused allegedly occurred between 1990 and 2020. During this period, the accused and his alleged accomplices, including employees of his group, allegedly “used force, fraud and coercion to bring about crimes women and minors to have sex “with them, says the act.
Detained in Canada since mid-December, the fashion mogul denies these accusations.