Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Conrad Black re-sentencing date set

Conrad Black leaves a Chicago hearing after prosecutors said they do not intend to retry him over two quashed convictions (AP)

US prosecutors have said they do not intend to retry former media mogul Conrad Black on convictions which were quashed last year by an appellate court.

At a status hearing in Chicago, Judge Amy St Eve also set a date of June 24 for re-sentencing Black on the two convictions which were upheld by the appellate judges.

Defence lawyers asked the judge for a June date to give them a chance to file a new appeal with the US Supreme Court.

Authorities freed 66-year-old Black from a Florida prison last year while he appealed against his 2007 convictions for defrauding investors.

Black once had a media empire which included The Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and community papers in the US and Canada.

He had served two years of a six-and-a-half-year sentence for defrauding Hollinger International investors when he was freed pending an appeal.

An appeal court reversed two of his fraud convictions in October, citing a June US Supreme Court ruling which drastically curtailed "honest services" laws that underpinned part of Black's case.

At the same time, the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals let stand one fraud and one obstruction of justice conviction, concluding they were not affected by the landmark high court decision.

Prosecutors could have attempted to retry Black on the overturned convictions but the appeal court discouraged that, however, warning it could throw scarce resources at drawn-out litigation.

Black is barred from leaving the United States while out on bail, and his British-issued passport seized by the court has now expired.

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