VANCOUVER: F David Radler (pictured), the long-time business partner of convicted felon Lord Conrad Black, has been released from prison less than a year into a 29 month sentence, with legal experts arguing he benefited from testifying against his former crony in the $6.1 million (€4.5m; £3.9m) Hollinger International fraud scandal.
Radler was serving his sentence in Canada, where the parole board sanctioned his release as his file "does not contain any indication of behaviour that demonstrates a potential for violence".
However, its ruling had a sting in the tail: "Many who have commented on your offence would argue that the financial devastation you caused to countless victims would constitute a form of violence".
Having admitted his guilt, Radler accused Black of masterminding the fraud plan, and was a key prosecution witness against the disgraced media mogul in his three-month trial last year.
Says Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago-based lawyer specialising in cases related to investment fraud: "This sends a very clear signal to other defendants that if you co-operate, you'll get a sweetheart deal."
Black – who maintains his innocence – is not eligible to apply for parole until he has served 85% of his 78 month sentence, and recently applied for a pardon from outgoing US president George W Bush.
Data sourced from Guardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff