Monday is Crunch Day for Conrad Black

10 December 2007

CHICAGO: Fallen media tycoon Lord Conrad Black of Crossharbour (pictured) will today face his moment of truth in a Chicago courtroom, where Judge Amy St Eve will pronounce on the future of the Canadian-born magnate who renounced his citizenship to accept a British peerage.

Black, one-time chairman/ceo of global newspaper empire Hollinger International, was convicted in July on four counts of criminal fraud and obstructing justice. US prosecutors are demanding a maximum prison term of 19 to 25 years.

But few lawyers believe such a draconian sentence will be passed. They cite the deal struck by the prosecution's principal witness, Black's former lieutenant and co-director F David Radler, who trilled like a canary against his former boss in return for a sentence of just twenty-nine months.

Comments former federal prosecutor Steven Miller: "It does seem unfair. They should apply the same rules." He believes Black's likely sentence will be six to eight years, based on previous guidelines.

Black - who has the right to request that he serve his sentence in the UK or Canada - has said he will not do so - a tactic that could further reduce his stateside sentence.

His Lordship is currently free on $21 million bail. The prospect of going to prison "does not terrify me at all," he has said, adding that he's "ready for anything."

Data sourced from International Herald-Tribune; additional content by WARC staff