By: E&P Staff
In his first extensive comments since his federal criminal corruption trial began in Chicago, deposed newspaper mogul Conrad Black told The Canadian Press (CP) Monday that the prosecution case is falling apart.
“I’ve always said they had no case and nothing has changed,” Black told CP reporter Romina Maurino Monday as he headed into the courthouse his daughter Alana Black as the trial enters its fifth week.
Even the attempt to show that he improperly charged a vacation with his wife in the South Pacific has failed, Black contended. “They tried to shock the jury with Bora Bora,” he told CP. “The company ended up making money off Bora Bora.” He apparently did not elaborate on that argument.
Black also argued that Toronto lawyer Darren Sukonick’s videotaped testimony, which was scheduled to conclude today, showed that it was actually that law firm, Torys LLP, that suggested paying non-compete fees to Black and others in the Toronto-base holding company Hollinger Inc.
“So what are we doing here? What are any of us doing here?” Black said, according to the CP account.
Prosecutors allege that Black, and three other former executives of the Chicago-based newspaper publisher Hollinger International — Vice President Peter Atkinson, CFO John “Jack” Boultbee and General Counsel Mark Kipnis — pocketed about $60 million in non-compete fees from the sale of U.S. and Canadian newspapers.