Conrad Black Seeks Prison Release While His Case is Reviewed

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Former media executive Conrad Black is seeking his release from prison, at least until the Supreme Court decides whether to uphold his fraud conviction.

Black has served nearly 15 months of a 6 1/2-year prison term following his conviction in July 2007. In early May, the high court agreed to hear an appeal from Black and two other former executives of the Hollinger International Inc. media company who were convicted in connection with payments of $5.5 million they received from a Hollinger subsidiary.

The court probably won’t hear arguments until late this year and a decision is unlikely before late winter. In the meantime, the judge who presided over the trial has said one of the men, John Boultbee, can be released on bond.

The government did not oppose Boultbee’s release, said Miguel Estrada, Black’s Washington-based lawyer. But it “steadfastly refuses to consent to bail for Mr. Black,” Estrada said in a court filing he directed to Justice John Paul Stevens. Stevens handles matters that come to the court from Illinois.

There was no immediate comment from the Justice Department.

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