Thursday, 28 May, 2020

Trump signs full pardon for British media baron Conrad Black

Conrad Black Trump signs full pardon for British media baron Conrad Black
Deanna Wagner | 18 May, 2019, 04:34

President Donald Trump issued two pardons on Wednesday, including a former newspaper publisher who authored a book a year ago that spoke highly of the American leader.

Black, 74, 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. He was initially sentenced to six and a half years in prison, but that was reduced to 42 months after the other fraud charges were overturned.

"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.

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

Black, 74, has held ownership of media titles all over the world, including The Daily Telegraph in the U.K., Israel's The Jerusalem Post, Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, and the Chicago Sun-Times in the US, among many others.

A character reference from Sir Elton John helped Lord Black of Crossharbour, the former press baron, to secure a pardon from President Trump.

Black was convicted in 2007 on three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice, though two of the fraud charges were later dropped on appeal.

"'Two seconds later probably the best-known voice in the world said 'Is that the great Lord Black?' I said 'Mr". 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.

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In 2013, the US Securities and Exchange Commission banned Mr Black from acting as a director of a US company and ordered him to pay $4.1 million in restitution.

Sanders said Black is the author of several notable biographies, including volumes on Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, but she did not mention his book about Trump.

The office of the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, declined to comment.

Black also said he and President Trump bemoaned the "antics" of American prosecutors both men have come into contact with, including special counsel Robert Mueller.

"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.

Trump gave him permission to say the motivation for the pardon was an unjust verdict. "Nor has any of the supportive things you've said and written about me".

Black also issued an exhaustive 1,698-word statement expressing his gratitude to Trump and others who lobbied on his behalf over the years.