I was one of many who sighed with relief when Conrad Black was convicted in U.S. District Court July 13. He is exceedingly litigious, and word had gone out that anyone who had suggested anything untoward in Black’s management of his newspaper empire could expect writs should the great man be found not guilty.
But he wasn’t, and I can now state categorically what I had only hinted at in these pages three years ago: Conrad Black is a crook. Specifically, Black was found guilty of fraud for paying himself non-compete payments for newspapers he had sold to himself and of obstruction of justice for removing boxes of evidence from his office while under investigation by the SEC.
He remains free on bail while awaiting sentencing on November 30. As the prosecution is recommending a 24- to 30-year term, the 62-year-old Black will likely spend the rest of his life in a U.S. federal prison.
Unless, that is, he manages to regain the Canadian citizenship he abjured with contumely six years ago. The newly ennobled Baron Black of Crossharbour declared in 2001, “Renouncing my citizenship was much more than a ticket to the House of Lords; it was the last and most consistent act of dissent I could pose against a public policy which I believe is depriving Canada of its right and duty to be one of the world’s great countries.” In other words, You are not worthy! ...