Former press baron Conrad Black home from U.S. prison

Fri May 4, 2012 4:17pm EDT
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By Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Former press baron Conrad Black was released from a Florida prison on Friday and flown to his home in Canada, which has granted him a temporary resident permit despite his criminal record.

Black arrived by car at his mansion in Toronto, kissed his wife Barbara Amiel, and walked around the leafy grounds with the couple's two large dogs, with spring flowers blooming in the background.

Black, convicted by a U.S. court of fraud and obstruction of justice, was clearly enjoying his freedom, and the couple acknowledged the photographers and television cameras recording their movements from beyond the fence of their imposing home.

Black, 67, gave up his Canadian citizenship, and with it his automatic right to live in Canada, to become a member of the British House of Lords.

But Canada's Department of Citizenship and Immigration granted him a one-year permit to live in Canada even though his conviction in the United States gave him a criminal record.

In 2007 a federal jury found Black guilty of scheming with partner David Radler and other executives to siphon off millions of dollars in proceeds from the sale of newspapers as they unwound Hollinger International, once the world's third-largest publisher of English-language newspapers.

At its heyday, the group operated the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jerusalem Post, London's Daily Telegraph and dozens of other newspapers.

Black was released from prison in July 2010, while his case was under appeal. Two of his three fraud convictions were voided and his original 78-month sentence was shortened. After the appeal, he returned to prison in September 2011.   Continued...

Former media mogul Conrad Black and his wife Barbara Amiel smile as he arrives at his home in Toronto, May 4, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch