Conrad Black Jury Adjourns For Weekend Without Verdict

By: E&P Staff Jurors in the federal racketeering and fraud trial of dethroned newspaper baron Conrad Black adjourned deliberations for the weekend without returning a verdict.

In an abbreviated court session, Judge Amy St. Eve refused the jury's request to see the transcript of testimony by a lawyer who investigated allegations that Black and three other former executives had abused their positions at Hollinger International, the publishing company now known as Sun-Times Media Group.

St. Eve told jurors they would have to rely on their recollections. Since deliberations began Wednesday, the jurors have requested a chart summarizing the allegedly fraudulent process that allowed Black and the others to pocket some $60 million from Hollinger -- and a daily outdoor smoking break. The judge granted both requests.

Black and his co-defendants -- former Hollinger vice president Peter Atkinson, former CFO John "Jack" Boultbee, and former general counsel Mark Kipnis - face multiple counts of fraud for allegedly paying themselves phony non-compete fees received as Hollinger sold off hundreds of its community papers. All have pleaded not guilty. The star witness in the 15-week trial was the former top Hollinger executive and Chicago Sunp0times publisher David Radler, who pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud in exchange for a reduced sentence and a fine.


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