Canuck Court Chills Conrad's Cash

31 August 2006

TORONTO: Lord Conrad Black of Coldharbour, the fallen newspaper tycoon who traded-in his Canadian citizenship to become a British nobleman, has suffered another setback in his battle to clear his name of fraud and racketeering charges levelled by US federal prosecutors.

It emerged Wednesday that His Lordship's entire remaining assets - and those of his columnist wife Barbara Amiel Black - have been frozen, condemning the couple to live on a paltry US$20,000 (€15.594; £10,503)a month.

This, by Black's standards is a draconian curtailment, given that US Judge Amy St Eve earlier this summer estimated the couple's gracious living expenses at over $200,000 a month.

The sequestration of the Blacks' assets was ordered last week by Judge Colin Campbell of the Ontario Superior Court at the behest of Hollinger Inc, the Toronto company via which he owns his controlling stake in the Sun-Times Media Group, formerly known as Hollinger International.

Black, chairman/ceo of Hollinger International until his toppling by a palace revolution in 2003, bestrode a media empire that included the UK's Telegraph Group, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post. He now faces twelve charges of racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff