Conrad Black book signing ahead of trial conclusion

Although prohibited from leaving the United States until the conclusion of his trial in Chicago – which is not scheduled for several more weeks – Conrad Black is planning a book-signing ceremony in Canada next week. How can he do it?

Using a new video device that enables him to autograph his book – which is about Richard Nixon – long distance from his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

The device is called a LongPen – a new electronic invention that even allows him to take part in a news conference from almost 2000 miles away in Florida. Or almost anywhere in the world.

At the book-store signing on October 15 customers will be able to ask him questions if they wish. At the same time Black will be interviewed for Canadian television.

It is almost two months since a jury in Chicago found Lord Black guilty of charges of swindling the Hollinger newspaper empire. A judge has ruled that he cannot leave the US before his sentencing, scheduled for late November.

At the same time he has been advised that if he wishes to regain possession of any of furnishings or artifacts and other valuables including paintings from his New York or Toronto residence he can do so – by buying them.

At his trial Lord Black argued that the paintings, including his favourite by Andy Warhol, were his personal property. The Warhol painting, if he wants to retain it, will cost him close to $400,000. That is its appraised value. Other paintings are scheduled to be auctioned by Christies. The money will go to his creditors.

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