Conrad Black to be sentenced

10-12-2007

Conrad Black to be sentenced
Former media mogul Conrad Black is due to be sentenced today on fraud and obstruction of justice charges.

The 63-year-old former Daily Telegraph owner was found guilty of the crimes by a US court in July.

Reports claim the maximum sentence which could be handed down to him by a Chicago court today is 35 years, but it is understood Black's defence lawyers are seeking a jail term of no more than five years for their client.

A defiant Black has continued to protest his innocence over the charges, refusing to express remorse for the crimes he has been found guilty of.

He and several former business associates are accused of swindling $3.5 million (£1.7 million) from shareholders of newspaper publisher Hollinger International, which Black once headed.

Black was convicted on three counts of fraud after his trial in July, when he and his past colleagues were found to have paid themselves tax-free bonuses from the sale of newspaper assets without the approval of Hollinger's board.

The British peer was also convicted on one count of obstructing justice, having been recorded on tape removing documents from his office in Toronto, Canada after US regulators informed him he was under investigation.

In an interview with the BBC last month, Canadian-born Black insisted he had done "absolutely nothing" wrong and claimed he was being persecuted by the US government.

The former media baron is currently free on $21 million (£10.5 million) bail.

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