Fashian designer to be extradited to US

Canadian police arrested Peter Nygard in December at the US government's request.
Canadian police arrested Peter Nygard in December at the US government's request.

Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard has consented to extradition to the US, where he faces sex-trafficking and racketeering charges, a prosecutor and his lawyer say.

Separately, Toronto Police Service issued a statement saying it had an arrest warrant for Nygard on six charges of sexual assault and three charges of forcible confinement between 1987 and 2006.

Canada's justice minister still must decide whether to extradite Nygard.

US authorities accuse Nygard, 80, of using his businesses to lure women and girls in the US, Canada and the Bahamas since 1995 to sexually gratify himself and his associates - accusations he denies.

Crown prosecutor Scott Farlinger told a Winnipeg, Manitoba, courtroom on Friday that Nygard had agreed to extradition, which his lawyer Brian Greenspan confirmed.

Extradition allows Nygard to mount his defence at trial in the US, Greenspan said, noting his client "has always unequivocally maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing".

Nygard appeared from jail via video link, with his long grey hair pulled back from his face, wearing a blue mask and a jacket with the collar pulled over his ears. He spoke briefly to confirm that he understood the significance of agreeing to extradition.

Court of Queen's Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal told Nygard his transfer could not happen for at least 30 days and he had the right to apply for bail pending the justice minister's decision on extradition.

Canadian police arrested Nygard in Winnipeg in December at the US government's request.

Born in Finland, Nygard grew up in Manitoba, eventually running his namesake clothing companies and becoming one of Canada's wealthiest people.

Australian Associated Press