FOR THE ANONYMOUS: In advance of Thursday’s bail appeal by former apparel tycoon Peter Nygard in a Manitoba court, the attorney general of Canada is seeking a limited publication ban.
Senior counsel Scott Farlinger, who is working on behalf of the attorney general, shared the motion with nearly 100 members of the media Tuesday afternoon.
After being denied bail last month, Nygard, who was arrested in December, remains in a Winnipeg jail. The self-made apparel magnate is facing a nine-count indictment that was brought forward by U.S. officials which includes sex trafficking, racketeering and other crimes. Dozens of women have accused Nygard of varying degrees of criminal behavior over a 25-year period. Some of the individuals allege that Nygard used his businesses to recruit victims in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas.
Nygard’s team has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. A spokesman for Nygard acknowledged a request for comment Tuesday, but was not aware of the development.
Thursday’s hearing will be held at the Manitoba Court of Appeal, with all counsel appearing by video and Nygard calling in to listen only, according to a spokeswoman for the courts. Justice Jennifer Pfuetzner will be presiding.
The motion is seeking an order that would prevent the identities of any of the anonymous (alleged) victims or witnesses, who are referenced in any of the material provided by U.S. officials, from being revealed, according to the motion. It is being sought to prevent a serious risk to the administration of justice. The filing also claims that the identity of a witness previously anonymized in materials filed by the U.S. has been disclosed in evidence.
During the bail hearing, Nygard’s attorney Jay Prober repeatedly argued that Nygard’s health is at risk, being imprisoned during the coronavirus crisis. The attorney general’s team countered that with properties in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas, the Finnish-born Nygard is considered to be a potential flight risk.
In denying Nygard bail at last month’s hearing, Justice Shawn Greenberg noted that he could potentially face a minimum sentence of 10 years in jail or up to life in prison.
Nygard’s situation had created a blizzard of media coverage in recent months. Nygard has also been the subject of other content. Earlier this year the subscription series Discovery+ debuted the four-part series “Unseamly: The Investigation of Peter Nygard” and the Canadian Broadcast Corp. created and produced the podcast “Evil by Design.”