Skeptical Appeals Court Hears Conrad Black’s Request to Toss Conviction

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By: The Associated Press

A lawyer for Conrad Black has asked a federal appeals court in Chicago to toss out the former media mogul’s conviction.

In a sometimes-contentious hearing Wednesday, attorney Miguel Estrada argued that, in convicting Black, jurors gave too much weight to a law that’s since been deemed largely unconstitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court curtailed so called “honest services” laws in June, so Estrada says judges should toss Black’s conviction for defrauding Hollinger International Inc. investors.

The prosecution countered that what underpinned Black’s 2007 conviction wasn’t so much the disputed law as the simple notion that Black stole money.

Judge Richard Posner repeatedly interrupted Estrada, once telling him an argument “didn’t make sense.”

Black is free on bail while his appeal is considered. He wasn’t in court Wednesday.

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