Skeptical Judge Hikes Black's Bail by $1 Million

11 August 2006

Judge Amy St Eve of the US District Court for Northern Illinois, unconvinced by the protestations of Lord Conrad Black of Crossharbour that he had revealed the true extent of his fortune, on Thursday upped the former media tycoon's bail bond by $1 million (€783.4k; £529k) to a total of $21m.

Black, who became a British life-peer after renouncing his Canadian citizenship in 2001, famously opined at the time that his former nationality was "an impediment to my progress in another more amenable jurisdiction."

Judge St Eve proved his point when last month she demanded an explanation as to why His Lorship's accounts showed stock and bank balances of greater value than he had previously declared.

On Wednesday, Lord Black's lawyers filed a blustering brief to the court, slamming federal prosecutors for their "shameful" conduct in asking for his bond to be increased. Claims that the peer had misstated his finances, said the mouthpieces, were "histrionic" and "inaccurate".

Judge St Eve did not share their view.

Black, the former chairman/ceo of Hollinger International until he was ousted 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 BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff