By SYANN THOMPSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
LAWYERS for Canadian tycoon Peter Nygard filed an urgent application on Monday to appeal Justice Ruth Bowe-Darville’s decision last Friday to jail the fashion designer for 90 days and fine him.
The Tribune secured a copy of the appeal application to set aside the decision made by Justice Bowe-Darville, which asserts that the sentencing and other requirements were “excessive”.
Canadian lawyer for Mr Nygard, Jay Prober echoed similar sentiments. In reacting to the decision made at the Supreme Court, he criticised Justice Bowe-Darville’s judgment and told The National Post that the degree of punishment was uncalled for. “The decision is unfair, it is unreasonable and it’s unnecessary, and quite frankly it’s unheard of. I have never seen in civil contempt proceedings a jail sentence or a fine of that magnitude,” he said.
According to the appeal application, Mr Nygard did not violate the February injunction. His lead attorney Carlton Martin insists not only that he abided by the February New York court injunction, but that he never dealt with the documents in question or correspondence.
Other reasons the appeal application outlines are that Mr Nygard was entitled to an adjournment prior to the November 15 sentencing and that Mr Nygard nor those acting on his behalf were properly served with contempt proceedings or made aware of these proceedings in accordance with the rules of the Supreme Court.
In justifying his reason for not showing up to court, the fashion mogul’s Canadian doctors say he is too ill to travel to the Bahamas. In an affidavit filed on Mr Nygard’s behalf, physician Dr Lynwood Brown wrote, “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. 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.”
While Mr Nygard remains beyond the reach of local authorities, he has an exhaustive list of obligations to be fulfilled by this Friday unless the Court of Appeal overturns the decision.
The orders include - turning himself into police, paying the $150,000 fine, providing a full apology for his non-appearances and assuring the court that he will discontinue using Save the Bays’ emails, which were the subject of a February 2019 injunction in a New York court proceeding.
If Mr Nygard does not turn himself over to police or pay the fine, the judge ordered that he would spend an additional 30 days in prison and fined $5,000 for each day the fine is unpaid.
The ongoing case involves the use of emails from environmental activists Save The Bays. The emails surfaced in an affidavit exhibited by lawyer Keod Smith. Lawyers for Save the Bays secured an injunction preventing the Canadian tycoon and Mr Smith from perusing, publishing or disseminating any information contained within the emails which Mr Nygard denies ever doing.