NASSAU, The Bahamas, Tuesday January 29, 2019 – A Supreme Court judge yesterday issued a bench warrant for the immediate arrest of Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard after he failed to appear in court for a third time to be sentenced for contempt.
Nygard was last year found guilty of contempt of court, after a judge found that he had dredged the sea floor between March and April 2015, and again in October of 2016, despite a June 2013 injunction prohibiting him from doing so.
After failing to appear last week, despite being so ordered by the court, Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson gave Nygard one last chance to appear yesterday.
However, he did not show up.
One of Nygard’s Canadian lawyers, Jay Prober, told the National Post newspaper that the arrest warrant was “grossly unfair” and “totally unnecessary.” He said Nygard was unable to attend yesterday’s hearing in person for medical reasons, but had offered to appear by video conference.
According to the newspaper, a Bahamian doctor yesterday filed an affidavit stating that the 77-year-old was unable to travel to The Bahamas due to poor health. According to that affidavit, Nygard flew to Winnipeg last Friday, but upon landing felt very dizzy and thought he was having a stroke.
“I do believe that the preliminary decision of his Canada-based physicians to ground him in Canada is in the best interest of his health,” wrote Dr Lynwood Brown. “In particular, I believe that the air-pressure of flying at or over 30,000 feet in order to get to The Bahamas could be fatal.”
Nygard has called The Bahamas home for three decades and has property and business interests there.
Save The Bays, a non-profit environmental organization, has brought litigation against him, alleging that he has doubled the size of his property at Nygard Cay through illegal dredging, and is blocking the natural flow of sand to a nearby national park and a popular beach.