Hollinger Blocks Sidestep Attempt by Ex-Telegraph Boss

28 September 2004

A demand by Dan Colson, former ceo of the Telegraph Group and coo of its Chicago-headquartered parent Hollinger International (H-Intl), that his name should be struck from a $1.2 billion (€975.1m; ₤663.9m) lawsuit, has been scornfully refuted by H-Intl as "misleading -- if not outright perjurious".

Colson last month claimed he should be exempt from the lawsuit as he had never lived in America, nor owned or rented property there, and was rarely in Chicago. He further attested he had never attended a H-Intl board meeting in Chicago. This, he argued, meant the court had no jurisdiction over him

Inconveniently for the quondam Telegraph boss, however, H-Intl has produced evidence that his attendance in person was recorded in the minutes of at least two board meetings. Furthermore, he has a home in Florida

According to Colson's attorney, Colson had not been asked by H-Intl to resign and neither was he implicated in any of the larger cash misappropriations allegedly undertaken by Lord Conrad Black and others.

The mouthpiece added that the claims against Colson were limited solely to the two controversial payments -- $1.8m relating to Hollinger's dotcom ventures and a $1m-plus bonus given "to appease Colson's displeasure with Black's failure to include him in certain other unlawful diversions from Hollinger" -- and therefore should not be included in the much broader case.

Lord Black, meantime, continues to fulminate that all the charges against him are "tabloid journalism masquerading as law".

Data sourced from Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff