Jailed ex-press baron Conrad Black loses appeal

Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:07pm EDT
 
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CHICAGO (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of former press baron Conrad Black and three ex-colleagues found guilty last year of defrauding shareholders of one-time newspaper publishing giant Hollinger International Inc.

The unanimous 16-page decision from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected all of the points lawyers for Black and the others made and affirmed the trial court's ruling.

Black, a Canadian-born member of Britain's House of Lords, has been in prison since March 3 when he began serving a 6-and-1/2 year sentence for fraud and obstructing justice.

The court similarly upheld the convictions of three former Hollinger colleagues -- Peter Atkinson, John Boultbee and Mark Kipnis -- who were convicted along with Black.

Black and the others were accused of swindling the company -- once the world's third largest publisher of English language newspapers -- out of $6.1 million by giving themselves illegal bonuses.

(Reporting by Michael Conlon, Editing by Peter Bohan and Vicki Allen).

 
<p>Conrad Black leaves the Derksen Federal Courthouse after his sentencing hearing in Chicago December 10, 2007. A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of former press baron Black and three ex-colleagues found guilty last year of defrauding shareholders of one-time newspaper publishing giant Hollinger International Inc. REUTERS/John Gress</p>