Judge Defers Request to Raise Conrad Black’s Bail

By: E&P Staff

At a Friday court hearing in Chicago attended by Conrad Black, a federal judge set July 12 to hear arguments on whether the deposed newspaper mogul should be forced to put up more bail in his fraud and racketeering case.

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve denied prosecutors request that Black’s bail be revoked or that he be ordered to put up more collateral on his present $20 million bond. Prosecutors contend Black misled them about his financial conditions, something vigorously denied by his attorneys.

Black did not speak at the Friday hearing or to reporters later, The Associated Press reported Friday. Co-defendant John “Jack” Boultbee was not present at the hearing, having previously been given permission to skip it in order to attend tomorrow’s Canada Day celebrations in his hometown in British Columbia.

Black and other former key executives of Hollinger International Inc., now called Sun-Times Media Group, are accused of looting the publishing company of the Chicago Sun-Times of some $92 million in improper fees and insider contracts. Former Sun-Times Publisher David Radler, Black’s lieutenant as he built Hollinger into a world-wide newspaper empire, has agreed to testify against Black and others in exchange for a lighter sentence.

In an active week for Black, Thursday U.S. District Judge David Coar in Chicago dismissed six of the eight claims filed against Black, Hollinger and some of the company’s former directors in relation to the circulation inflation scandal at the Sun-Times. The shareholder lawsuit accuses Black, the former chairman and CEO of the company, and other Hollinger figures of making false or misleading statements about its financial condition.

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