Trump pardons disgraced mogul Conrad Black

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48290529

Former media mogul Conrad Black arrives at a business luncheon in Toronto, Canada June 22, 2012Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Conrad Black, who became Lord Black of Crossharbour, was known for his extravagant lifestyle

US President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for former media mogul Conrad Black.

Black, 74, was convicted of fraud and obstructing justice in 2007 and jailed for more than three years in the US.

A White House statement described him as an “entrepreneur and scholar”.

Canadian-born Black, who has British nationality, was released from prison in 2012. Last year he published a book entitled Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other.

The British peer once ran a media empire that included the UK’s Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post.

“Lord Black’s case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character,” a White House statement announcing the pardon said.

It said he had made “tremendous contributions to business, as well as to political and historical thought”.

“In light of these facts, Mr Black is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency,” the statement added.

Stripped of honour

Black renounced his Canadian citizenship when he became a British peer in 2001 but moved back to Canada following his release from a Florida prison.

In 2014 Canada stripped him of its highest honour, the Order of Canada, which was awarded in 1990 for a lifetime of achievement.

In 2007 Black was convicted of defrauding Hollinger International shareholders of $6.1m (£4.7m), by paying himself a tax-free bonus from the sale of newspaper assets without the approval of the company’s board.

He had been forced out of the company by shareholders in 2003.

After his conviction, Black was sentenced to 78 months in prison. He then pursued a partially successful appeal, in which a judge cut his sentence down to 42 months.

Critics have accused Mr Trump of using his powers of pardon to address what he believes are political wrongs.

In 2017, he pardoned ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt, after he defied a court order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected immigrants.

Last year he issued a pardon to conservative writer Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted in 2014 of violating campaign finance laws.

Other pardons have included Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, who was convicted of lying about leaks to the media, and Jack Johnson, boxing’s first black heavyweight champ, convicted in 1913 of taking his white girlfriend across state lines.

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