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Disgraced ex-media mogul Conrad Black leaves jail for Canada

By David Usborne in Miami

Disgraced former media magnate Conrad Black was heading to Toronto, Canada, last night after being released from a prison in Florida where he had been serving time stemming from his 2007 convictions for defrauding investors in his now defunct newspaper conglomerate, Hollinger.

Mr Black, who once controlled titles like 'The Daily Telegraph', 'The Jerusalem Post' and the 'Chicago Sun-Times', left a federal corrections centre in Miami early yesterday.

While he had requested quick transit to Toronto he was first taken into custody by US immigration officials for deportation processing.

Canada said last week it would grant him a one-year resident's visa. US officials said he would be free to travel either to Canada or Britain. He would not be permitted to stay in the US.

Now 67, Mr Black was expecting to rejoin his wife Barbara Amiel, a columnist, in the Toronto home they still own and begin a long climb back to respectability and social acceptance.

In 2001, he renounced his Canadian citizenship to take a place in the House of Lords in Britain as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Yesterday, he was able, at last, to dispense with a title of a different kind: prisoner No 18330-424.

Mr Black was convicted in 2007 on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice arising from a scheme to pocket proceeds from the sale of Hollinger's community newspapers without telling the board of directors.

He was sentenced to six-and-half years but was released on bail in 2010 to pursue an appeal, which was partially successful. Mr Black returned to prison last September to serve the remainder of a reduced sentence.

(© Independent News Service)

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