Mr. Nygard appeared in court via video link from jail, seeming like a shell of the man once plastered on billboards in New York’s Times Square and Winnipeg’s airport. His gray hair, normally coifed in a lion’s mane, was tied back in a messy bun. He wore a face mask and jail-issued gray-blue shirt, and sat staring straight ahead, offering no visible reaction to the judge’s decision.
It is relatively rare in Canada to be denied bail, particularly for people with no criminal record like Mr. Nygard, said Seth Weinstein, a criminal defense lawyer in Toronto who co-authored a book on extradition cases.
Mr. Prober said he would wait for more information from the American prosecutors regarding the charges before deciding his client’s next steps. It is very unlikely a challenge by Mr. Nygard to his extradition would be successful, experts said.
“In Canada, it is nearly impossible not to be extradited, especially to our good friends, the U.S.,” said Robert Currie, a professor of international criminal law at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He added that wealthy people who exhaust all legal means might stave off extradition for a couple of years.
In Canada, the bail system is largely predicated on community trust and connections and does not involve large cash deposits and commercial bail bondmen, as it does in many U.S. states.
Instead, in most cases, the accused is required to find one or more “sureties” — usually a family member or lifelong friend who pledges collateral, often in the form of property. More importantly, they also agree to oversee the accused, ensuring that the defendant follows the bail terms laid out by the court, and to alert the police of any transgressions.
In Mr. Nygard’s case, none of his 10 children, past girlfriends or longstanding business executives who helped build his company showed up in court as proposed sureties. Instead, it was two employees: one a former construction manager with a criminal record for cocaine trafficking and a previous association with the Hells Angels motorcycle club, and the other a former director who still works for Mr. Nygard overseeing the company’s bankruptcy procedure.