There has been a dramatic escalation in the legal war between disgraced media mogul Lord Conrad Black and Hollinger International.

The Hollinger board has amended its original $200 million(€169m; £112m) lawsuit against Lord Black upping the figure to a colossal $1.25 billion.

The new writ follows an investigation by former US Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, Richard Beeden.

It expands allegations that Black and fellow executives sold some of Hollinger's newspapers to their own firms at a fraction of their value.

The lawsuit is said to be one of the biggest filed against an individual. It accuses Black of "racketeering" and if the Hollinger board is successful, Black will almost certainly face financial ruin.

Ravelston, Black's private company has dismissed the allegations of racketeering as: "tabloid journalism masquerading as law."

Analysts, however, say the amended writ could further complicate the sale of the group's assets such as The Daily Telegraph and Jerusalem Post.

Potential bidders may be worried they could face legal liabilities if they buy company assets.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff