Canada Reluctant to Welcome Back Black

29 November 2005

Embattled former press baron Lord Conrad Black is having a little local difficulty with Canadian immigration authorities.

The UK peer, who renounced his Canuck citizenship four years ago to take up a place in Britain's second legislative chamber, suddenly wants to reclaim his heritage.

This may or may not be connected with the eight counts of fraud His Lordship faces in connection with his tenure as chairman and ceo of US newspaper group Hollinger International, during which period he and his henchmen allegedly "looted" $83.8 million (€71.4m; £48.9m) of shareholder funds.

Black is due to appear in a Chicago court tomorrow (Wednesday) to formally begin his defense. However, if convicted he faces up to 40 years in jail.

As a Canuck citizen he could request a transfer to Canadian custodial authorities, who apparently run a more comfortable regime than their US counterparts. More importantly, perhaps, it is more difficult for the US to extradite a Canadian citizen than a British subject.

The country's immigration minister Joe Volpe has, however, introduced an amendment to the Citizenship Act that would prevent people gaining citizenship if they are serving a sentence, have been convicted of a serious crime in the past three years or are currently charged with a serious offence.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff