Black Denied a Retrial as Sentencing Date Looms

08 November 2007

CHICAGO: Just twenty-four days before Lord Conrad Black (pictured) stands before a Chicago court for sentencing, the disgraced former chairman/ceo of media group Hollinger International learned that his bid for a retrial had failed.

His sole hope now is to lobby for leniency when Judge Amy St Eve passes sentence on November 30.

Unfortunately for His Lordship, leniency is not on the agenda of federal prosecutors, who are pressing for sentences between 235 to 293 months - nineteen to twenty-four years, likely at Black's age (63) to equate to a life sentence.

In July the former media magnate, who renounced his Canadian citizenship for the mediaeval British flummery of an ermine-trimmed scarlet robe, was adjudged guilty by the trial jury on four counts of criminal fraud and obstructing justice.

Black's legal team, however, subsequently argued that the jury had been unable to follow many of the more complex financial points of the case, and had on occasion behaved irrationally. This, they claimed, had led to a "manifest injustice".

Trial judge Amy St Eve was not impressed by the claim. In her 39-page ruling, published Tuesday, she notes: "The government submitted more than ample evidence at trial. The jury was extremely attentive and deliberative throughout the trial."

In a recent interview with Men's Vogue magazine, Black reportedly sees himself as "the victim of a miscarriage of justice" and seeks solace in God as he awaits sentencing.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff