WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan. 28 (Reuters) — A judge reserved her decision on Thursday on whether to grant bail to Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard ahead of a possible hearing on extradition to the United States on sex trafficking and racketeering charges.
Justice Shawn Greenberg said she would give her decision on Feb. 5.
Born in Finland, Nygard grew up in Manitoba and graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D., in 1964. He eventually ran his own namesake clothing companies and became one of Canada's wealthiest people.
U.S. justice officials allege Nygard, 79, had since 1995 used his influence and businesses to "recruit and maintain" victims in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas to sexually gratify himself and his associates.
Prosecutor Scott Farlinger argued that Nygard is a flight risk given his wealth, and that the charges are too serious to release him.
Lawyers for Nygard, who appeared from prison by video, said his age and poor health left him at risk of dying from COVID-19 if he becomes infected in prison. They offered bail conditions that included C$1.2 million ($936,987.58) worth of property, electronic monitoring and 24-hour video surveillance at his Winnipeg home. ($1 = 1.2807 Canadian dollars)
Forum News Service contributed to this report.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Franklin Paul and Dan Grebler)