Saturday, July 14, 2007

Conrad Black: GUILTY

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The trial of the loathsome Conrad Black is surely getting more attention up here in Canada than down in the U.S. The location of the trial is Chicago, and American laws were broken, but Black is Canadian by birth, a Canadian who in 2001 renounced his citizenship to become a British life peer, a member of the House of Lords, and it was in Canada that he became a media mogul. And so this story matters to us more than it otherwise might, not least because Black, whatever his citizenship, is an arrogant prick, his wife, the loathsome Barbara Amiel, very much the same.

And so the news from Chicago yesterday, the verdict, well, it was awesome. Here's the headline at The Globe and Mail:


Yes, indeed, "decades in prison" sounds good to me, as it sounds good to many, for justice has been done, appeals expected, and the arrogant prick has finally been held accountable:

Conrad Black has been convicted on four criminal charges, including obstruction and three counts of mail fraud. He was found not guilty on nine other charges. He now faces the prospect of as much as 35 years in jail...

The most dire decision by the jury: on count 13, the jury judged Conrad Black guilty of obstruction of justice in connection with the removal of 13 boxes of documents from his office at 10 Toronto Street in Toronto. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 (U.S.) fine.

Lord Black, 62, was also convicted on three counts of mail fraud.


Together, the convictions carry a maximum jail term, if served consecutively, of 35 years and a maximum fine of $1-million.

Lord Black's key financial adviser, John Boultbee, was found guilty on three counts of mail fraud, as were Lord Black's long-time friend, Peter Atkinson, and the man who was credited with arranging the non-competition agreements central to the trial, Mark Kipnis.

(Read the full article for details of the trial. See also Bloomberg and the BBC -- that latter of which also has a timeline, the charges, an examination of Black's fall, background to the trial, and a look at "Black's life of luxury".)

One hopes that Black is denied bail, but perhaps that is too much to wish. Either way, one hopes that this conviction holds up on appeal and that Black is punished accordingly.

Other than that, "Lord" Black can go to hell.

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