Trump pardons Conrad Black for 2007 fraud conviction in U.S.

Conrad Black Former press magnate has been pardoned by Donald Trump

Conrad Black Former press magnate has been pardoned by Donald Trump Credit Getty

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President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for Conrad Black, the Canadian-born media mogul who once controlled a media empire that included the Daily Telegraph.

Lord Black, born in Montreal, Canada, was the former head of Hollinger International, which once owned the Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, Jerusalem Post and hundreds of community papers in the United States and Canada. In 2007, Black was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice after diverting millions from the sale of Hollinger newspapers. Black, who has served 2 years of a 6 1/2 year prison term, was released on bail in July while the court reexamines his case.

"My long ordeal with the USA justice system was never anything but a confluence of unlucky events, the belligerence of several corporate governance charlatans, and grandstanding local and American judges, all fanned by an unusually frenzied worldwide media showing exceptional interest in the case because I was a media owner", he wrote.

He wrote a column Thursday in Canada's National Post describing how Trump called him and revealed the pardon. He could defend himself against charges of public corruption and risk decades in prison, or he could plead guilty and accept a 33-month sentence. During his 2007 trial, Trump had been expected to testify as a witness in Black's defense, before Black's lawyers made a decision to not have him testify. The statement also noted that Black is "the author of several notable biographies", but didn't mention the glowing book Black published about Trump past year.

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"The Supreme Court of the United States, however, largely disagreed and overturned nearly all charges in his case", the White House said in a statement announcing the pardon.

Last year Trump granted a full pardon to Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative author and firebrand. Trump gave him permission to say the motivation for the pardon was an unjust verdict.

Their business dealings had intersected on a real estate transaction in Chicago when one of Black's companies, Hollinger International, sold the building that had housed the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper to Trump for a land-development deal.

Trump also pardoned Patrick Nolan, a former Republican leader of the California State Assembly.

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