CHICAGO: Rune-readers attending the trial of former media mogul Lord Conrad Black - now in its defense phase - have sensed a set-back to his chances of an acquittal. Or, at very least, that US District Judge Amy St Eve is unsympathetic to the tactics of his defense team.

Judge St Eve was unequivocal in her rejection of Black's attorneys' request to recall the prosecution's star witness and Black's former right-hand man, F David Radler. She declined to hear the defense's claim of new evidence that he had lied during his eight days on the stand.

Under cross-examination by Black's Canadian attorney, Edward 'Fast Eddie' Greenspan, Radler had insisted he knew nothing about a Canadian rule under which defendants convicted in the US of certain non-violent felonies would serve no more than six months in a Canuck jail.

But, argued Greenspan, it was subsequently discovered that Radler had consulted a leading Canadian parole lawyer in November 2004, one month prior to entering into a plea-bargain deal with federal prosecutors.

Greenspan's recall request, ruled the judge, came too late. "What you want to do is impeach him on grounds that, frankly, you could have discovered long ago," St. Eve told the lawyer.

She also opined that Greenspan had done an effective job of impeaching Radler whilst he was on the stand, adding that the matter was, anyway, something of a side issue.

Judge St Eve also denied a mistrial motion by lawyers for Black's co-defendant and former Hollinger International corporate counsel Mark Kipnis. They argued unsuccessfully that statements by the prosecution had prejudiced the jury.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff