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Conrad Black heads back to prison

Conrad Black, the once-powerful media mogul whose newspaper empire spanned several continents, has been sent back to prison for another 13 months after a federal judge ruled that he had not served enough time for defrauding investors.

US Judge Amy St Eve sentenced Black to 42 months in prison, but prosecutors said he would be given credit for the 29 months he has already served.

The resentencing came after an appeals court decision last year.

Black's wife, Barbara Amiel, seated on a courtroom bench, collapsed into the laps of other spectators as the sentence was delivered, and medics were called to attend to her.

Black had addressed the judge for about 20 minutes before the sentence was imposed. He did not concede any guilt.

"I never ask for mercy," he said, standing with his hands on the podium and looking at the judge, "but I do ask for avoidance of injustice."

Canadian-born Black, 66, renounced the citizenship of his homeland to become a member of the House of Lords and was known for a grand lifestyle.

A jury convicted Black in 2007, and at the time Judge St Eve sentenced him to six-and-a-half years for defrauding investors in Hollinger International.

But Black, whose empire once included the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Jerusalem Post and small papers across the US and Canada, was freed on bail after serving two years to let him pursue what would be partially successful appeals.

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago last year threw out two of Black's fraud convictions but upheld one conviction for fraud and one for obstruction of justice. And it said Judge St Eve would have to sentence Black again for those two standing counts.


From Belfast Telegraph