Conrad Black Begins Jail Term

03 March 2008

CHICAGO: Fallen media magnate Lord Conrad Black (pictured) will not pass Go, will not collect $200 but will go directly to jail today (Monday) following a US court decision that he cannot remain on bail pending his appeal hearing.

Black will report to a low-security Florida prison to begin his six-and-a-half year sentence, following his conviction last year on three counts of fraud and one of obstruction of justice.

His application to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals was his last legal chance of staying out of prison while his defence team prepare his appeal.

Black and three associates were judged guilty of siphoning $6.1 million (€4m; £3.07m) from Hollinger International, now rebranded as Sun-Times Media Group. All vehemently maintained their innocence.

Two of the quartet, Jack Boultbee and Peter Atkinson, have been told they do not have to report to prison today because the appeal process could take longer than the sentences they might serve if some counts are overturned.

The Candian-born British peer has been living at his Florida mansion since his trial ended last July.

His lawyer, Andrew Frey, said the defence team was surprised and disappointed the ruling had gone against Black, but he added: "He is a strong person. He will cope."

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff