CHICAGO: F David Radler, former lieutenant to Lord Conrad Black, and these days the federal prosecution's star testifier in His Lordship's trial, suffered a rough time of it when he took the witness stand Thursday in the aptly-named 'Windy City'.

After days of mollycoddling by prosecution lawyers when he testified against Black earlier this week, Radler yesterday faced defense attorney Edward ('Fast Eddie') Greenspan, the renowned Canadian legal brawler. Trapped on the ropes by the latter's onslaught, Radler ducked and weaved.

Greenspan used his opening argument to discredit both Radler and his testimony, the main plank on which the prosecution's case rests, picturing him as one of the main wrongdoers in the scandal that enveloped Hollinger International [H-Intl].

Radler had already told the Chicago court that he knew a scheme hatched by Black and himself to pay themselves and the former's four co-defendants millions of dollars was wrong.

He had also earlier tendered his "regrets" to the court at not alerting the firm's board of directors.

Asked if he had lied to the special committee set up by H-Intl in 2003 to investigate allegations of fraud among its executives, Radler conceded that he had.

He also admitted lying, to save himself and "others", to the federal prosecutor responsible for putting him on the stand (in a plea-bargaining deal for a reduced jail term of twenty-nine months).

"So, you might be lying now," Greenspan strong-armed. "Lying to save yourself?"

"False. I am not lying," Radler replied.

The trial continues - and is expected to do so for at least another four weeks.

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