Anticipation Builds As Jury in 8th Day Of Deliberations At Conrad Black Trial

By: The jurors at the Conrad Black fraud trial continue their deliberations despite some heightened anticipation late last week and early Monday morning that a verdict may be close.

Some observers have suggested this may be the week Black gets his verdict, and believe jurors have been making progress while sifting through mountains of evidence and testimony from the three-month trial.

More reporters have been arriving in Chicago, as the nine women and three men on the panel discuss the charges against Black and three other executives for an eighth day.

The jurors have had few communications with the court, and have not publicly indicated any problems with their deliberations..

They have a total of 42 charges to consider, including 13 counts against Black, 11 against Jack Boultbee, 10 against Peter Atkinson and eight against Mark Kipnis.

Prosecutors allege that Black and the others orchestrated a scheme to pocket about US$60 million in non-compete payments negotiated with buyers when Hollinger International sold newspaper assets, money that should have gone to company shareholders.

They also allege Black fraudulently misused about US$20 million in company funds on perks such as lavish parties and trips and a Manhattan apartment.

Black and his three co-defendants have not been convicted of any crimes and deny all wrongdoing.

The jurors retired on June 27 to consider their decision.

They have said they will deliberate until 4:45 p.m. CT Monday. They have not yet provided details for the rest of the week, but generally do so when they adjourn for the day.


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