Conrad Black Trial Judge Denies Mistrial, Won't Recall Radler

By: E&P Staff Former Chicago Sun-Times Publisher David Radler, who came under withering cross-examination earlier in the fraud trial of deposed newspaper mogul Conrad Black, will not have to re-take the stand, a U.S. District judge ruled Wednesday.

In a separate decision in the 12th week of the trial in Chicago, Judge Amy J. St. Eve also denied a motion for a mistrial from one of Black's co-defendants, former Hollinger International Inc. General Counsel Mark Kipnis. Lawyers for Kipnis argued that some $150,000 in bonuses that Kipnis received were for his legal work, and not because he was part of the alleged scheme among to Hollinger executives to loot the publishing company of about $60 million by pocketing improper non-compete fees from the sales of community papers.

Kipnis, who has been barely mentioned in much of the testimony in the trial, is charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. Former Hollinger Chairman Black and former Hollinger executives Jack Boultbee and Peter Atkinson are also charged with mail and wire fraud and tax evasion. Black is additionally charged with racketeering and obstruction of justice.

Black's lawyers had sought to get Radler back on the stand to challenge his contention on earlier cross-examination that he was unfamiliar with some of the advantages of his plea bargain with U.S. prosecutors. Radler, a Canadian, has pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud in the alleged looting scheme. He will be fined and sentenced to a 29-month sentence that likely will be served in a Canadian prison near his Vancouver, British Columbia home.

Radler testified he was not familiar with the conditions of Canadian prisons -- said to be considerably softer than federal pens -- or that he could be eligible for release earlier there than in the United States.

But in court papers, one of Black's lawyers noted that Radler hired a Canadian attorney who specialized in parole cases a month before he agreed to the plea bargain. Black's legal team, which repeatedly called Radler a liar during days of cross-examination, wanted to use that information to further attack his credibility.

The defense is expected to wrap up its case next week, without calling celebrity real estate developer Donald Trump to the stand, as some have speculated -- or having Black testify in his own defense.


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