Conrad Black released from prison

Media mogul freed on bail after serving two years for fraud.

    Black with his wife at the Dirksen Federal courthouse in Chicago July 13, 2007 [REUTERS]

    The Canadian-born Black, a British peer who once led the world's third-largest newspaper publisher, with titles including London's Daily Telegraph, Canada's National Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, entered a Florida prison in March 2008.

    Black and three other Hollinger International Inc. executives were convicted of defrauding shareholders out of $6.1 million.

    No assets

    Black's lawyer said that his client "does not have assets available to him" and that conservative businessman Roger Hertog would be providing his $2 million bond.

    Black, 65, will travel to Chicago on a commercial flight from Florida and appear before court at midday on Friday.

    Black's Palm Beach, Florida, mansion is now owned by a finance company, and he may live in a New York hotel while the appeal process continues, Black’s lawyer said.

    Last month, Black won a victory when the US Supreme Court limited the reach of the federal fraud law that prosecutors used frequently in corruption cases against government officials and executives like Black and former Enron Corp Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling.

    The high court stopped short of overturning convictions and sent the cases back to lower courts.

    The federal law is applied to fraud cases in which a person is accused of depriving others of the intangible right to "honest services".

    It has been criticised as being too vague and overused. Black still faces numerous civil suits related to Hollinger, and US tax authorities have demanded $71 million from him for unpaid taxes.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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