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Can bail be denied during the extradition process?

Canada has extradition treaties in place with numerous international states. When the extradition process is set in motion, those accused are afforded due process in accordance with the Extradition Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That said, it is not uncommon for individuals to find their request for bail denied under certain conditions.

While every case is defined by several unique factors, there are common reasons why bail could be rejected. Typical reasons can include:

  • Crime severity, including cases involving violence such as assault, rape or murder.
  • Flight risk, indicating that an individual has the resources necessary to abscond to another country to evade capture.
  • Threat to the public, which can include statements made indicating the potential to harm large numbers of people, members of certain groups, or even a specific loved one.
  • Repeat offences, which often means the presence of a past criminal record.

In a recent case involving Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard, the accused was denied bail by a judge in Winnipeg, Manitoba, due to concerns that Nygard could tamper with witnesses if released from jail. He had been arrested by Canadian police at the request of United States officials and was awaiting extradition to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution.

The extradition process generally follows three phases: authority to proceed, the judicial phase and the Ministerial phase. Through all three phases, the accused will be afforded fair treatment and due process. In these situations, it is crucial to seek experienced legal guidance. Extradition laws and international treaties can be complex matters to navigate and it is wise to have a strong, efficient defender on your side.

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