UPDATE 1-Canadian judge denies bail to fashion designer Nygard in U.S. extradition case
Adds judge's reasons for decision, background on Nygard
By Rod Nickel
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard was denied bail on Friday in a Winnipeg, Manitoba courtroom, after spending nearly two months in jail on a U.S. extradition request.
Canadian police arrested Nygard in Winnipeg on Dec. 14 at the request of U.S. justice officials under the countries' extradition treaty.
Nygard faces nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering in the United States. Nygard, who appeared in court by video, has denied all the allegations.
Justice Shawn Greenberg said she was concerned Nygard, 79, could tamper with witnesses if released.
His lawyers had argued that Nygard's poor health left him vulnerable if he were to be infected by the new coronavirus in prison, but Greenberg said that did not automatically qualify him for release.
"It is not a get-out-of-jail-free card," the judge said in her oral decision.
U.S. justice officials accuse Nygard of having used his influence and businesses to recruit victims in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas since 1995 to sexually gratify himself and his associates.
Born in Finland, Nygard grew up in Manitoba, eventually running his own namesake clothing companies and becoming one of Canada's wealthiest people.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool)
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