Supreme court to hear Conrad Black appeal this year

Former Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black has won the right to appeal against his six-and-a-half year fraud conviction.

The US supreme court today agreed to consider overturning the conviction and said it would hear arguments later this year.

The former chairman and chief executive of Hollinger International was convicted of three counts of fraud and one of obstruction in July 2007.

The jury found that Black and three other executives had illegally received $6.1m (£4m) of shareholders’ money between them.

Peter Atkinson and John Boultbee were sentenced to 24 months and 27 months in jail respectively over three counts of mail fraud.

Former corporate lawyer Mark Kipnis escaped jail and received five years’ probation and 275 hours of community service despite being found guilty of two counts of mail fraud.

During the highly complex four-month trial, the court was given details of Black’s lavish lifestyle.

The jurors heard from more than 40 witnesses during 14 weeks of evidence before they retired to consider their verdicts and deliberated for 12 days.

Black began his sentence in a low-security federal prison last March. He was also fined $125,000 (£82,000).

An appeals court in Chicago later upheld Black’s conviction, but the nation’s appeals courts are divided on the central issue underpinning it.

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