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White Collar Crime

Conrad Black Case Moves to Jury

Posted Jun 27, 2007 9:01 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Jurors are expected to begin deliberations today in the trial of media baron Conrad Black, accused of diverting noncompete payments from Hollinger International.

Black is on trial along with two co-defendants on charges they defrauded investors of about $60 million and lied to investigators. About 50 witnesses testified, but the defendants were not among them, the New York Times reports. Jury instructions are expected to span 100 pages.

A fourth co-defendant, Mark Kipnis, was the company’s lawyer. He is accused of helping arrange the illegal transactions, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. His defense lawyer argued any mistakes he made were due to lack of skill rather than criminal intent.

Lawyers for the other defendants contend the payments were disclosed to stockholders and there was no illegality.

The Journal reports that Black looked away in what appeared to be disgust as the prosecutor singled him out in closing arguments. At other times during yesterday's court session he was impassive and twiddled his thumbs.

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