Ontario Appeals Court to Rule Friday on Conrad Black Libel Lawsuits

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By: E&P Staff

The Ontario Court of Appeal will issue its decision on Friday on whether libel lawsuits filed by Conrad Black can proceed in the province.

The former press baron filed six suits in Ontario Superior Court over material published on the Sun-Times Media Website and republished by Ontario media outlets, The Canadian Press reports.

The defendants are members of a special committee of Hollinger International, where Black had served as CEO.

Black’s lawyers say the lawsuits should proceed in Ontario since that is where he established his reputation and should be vindicated from statements about his use of Hollinger shareholder money.

Arguing the Ontario court lacks jurisdiction, defendants moved for a stay. Their motion was dismissed last year, and their appeal was heard May 3.

Free on bail after spending more than two years in a U.S. prison for fraud and obstruction of justice, Black’s latest bail hearing, in Chicago to consider his request to visit Canada, was rescheduled from Aug. 15 to Sept. 20, which may put it after a U.S. appeals court rules on his criminal convictions. If it overturns all convictions, Black will be free and his bail hearing — and disclosure of financial information to the judge — will be unnecessary.

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