Conrad Black, former media mogul, pardoned by Donald Trump

Evarado Alatorre
May 16, 2019

"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. Hollinger International was one of the biggest newspaper publishers in the world, and included such publications as the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Jerusalem Post and the National Post (Canada). He had originally been sentenced to 78 months in jail, but had his sentence reduced after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down several of his initial convictions.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Lord Black "has made tremendous contributions to business, and to political and historical thought", adding that high-profile individuals - including Henry Kissinger, Elton John and Rush Limbaugh - had "vigorously vouched for his exceptional character".

Black was found guilty in the United States in 2007 of scheming to siphon off millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger Inc, where he was chief executive and chairman.

The office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment.

He remains banned by the Ontario Securities Commission from acting as a corporate director or officer of a public company in Ontario.

Black - who gave up his Canadian citizenship when he became a member of Britain's House of Lords - was deported from the USA in 2012 after being released from a Florida prison.

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Black, who has called Trump a friend, published a book previous year praising him, titled "Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other".

Writing in Canada's National Post on Thursday, Lord Black spoke of the phone call in which Mr Trump gave him the news.

"He could not have been more gracious and quickly got to his point: he was granting me a full pardon", wrote Black, who used much of the rest of the column to explain the case.

"If you were able to put in a cameo appearance and say a supporting word, I'm sure it would have an impact on the group and be favourably noted in the press", Black wrote.

However, the statement from the White House announcing Black's pardon on Wednesday contains a callback to Trump's earlier role in Black's saga.

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