Former fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s extradition hearing will be broadcast live Friday morning on media websites, including CBC.ca.
Nygard, 80, is charged in the U.S. with sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy charges related to “a decades-long pattern of criminal conduct involving at least dozens of victims in the United States, the Bahamas and Canada,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
None of the allegations against Nygard have been proven in court. He has yet to enter a plea in response to the charges he’s facing in New York.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at approximately 7:45 a.m. CT, or 8:45 a.m. ET, and is set for one hour.
The extradition hearing was originally set to take place over five days beginning Nov. 15 in Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench, but was moved up to Oct. 1.
Vancouver-based extradition lawyer Gary Botting, who is not involved in the case, suggested there are many reasons why the hearing length could have been shortened.
Nygard may agree to surrender, which means he could be sent to New York to face charges in a matter of weeks and can reapply for bail there, Botting said.
Another possibility is that Nygard may choose to skip the court extradition process and ask the federal minister of justice — who has the final say — to allow him to stay in Canada on compassionate grounds.
“It’s a very gruelling matter, and it could be he’s going to die in custody anyway, frankly, if he’s found guilty,” Botting said.
“But of course, he hasn’t been tried yet, and so the minister has to consider all of that: whether there are compassionate grounds sufficient to make it unethical, if you like, for the minister to send him out of the jurisdiction.”
Nygard was arrested at a home in Winnipeg on Dec. 14, 2020, and remains at Headingley Correctional Centre, west of Winnipeg. He isn’t currently facing any charges in Canada.
Nygard tried unsuccessfully to get bail. Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada denied his request to challenge two lower court decisions that denied him bail.
No charges in Winnipeg
A number of women told CBC News they had reported allegations of rape to the Winnipeg Police Service last year.
Eight files were referred by the Winnipeg police to the Crown prosecutor’s office for review in December 2020, sources said.
“We can confirm that WPS has concluded its investigation into allegations of sexual assaults by Peter Nygard and that the results have been forwarded to Manitoba Justice,” a Winnipeg police spokesperson wrote.
A spokesperson for Manitoba Justice won’t say whether charges will be laid against Nygard, only that “there are no charges outstanding for Mr. Nygard in Manitoba.”
Manitoba Justice officials won’t provide any more details — not even to say if the case is still open.
In past media statements, Nygard’s lawyer says he is innocent and the accusations have been made up to tarnish his reputation.