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Former Hollinger head pleads not guilty to new felony charges

[JURIST] Canadian-born media tycoon Conrad Black [CBC profile], former chairman of publishing giant Hollinger International, pleaded not guilty in Chicago Friday to an additional four felony counts [US DOJ press release, PDF] that include racketeering and obstruction of justice. Black, a member of the UK House of Lords who gave up his Canadian citizenship, was originally indicted on criminal fraud charges [JURIST report] for the alleged $84 million defrauding of the company in connection with the sale of several hundred of its newspapers in Canada and the US; he now stands accused of violating court orders when he carried boxes filled with documents out of his office after-hours in May. Black and his co-defendents, two former Hollinger lawyers and an accountant, are currently free on bond after denying the multiple counts of fraud. In September Black's former deputy David Radler agreed to a guilty plea [JURIST report] on lesser charges in exchange for his testimony against his former co-workers. After Black's not guilty plea Friday the presiding judge The Guardian has more.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that Black had pleaded guilty to the new charges. JURIST regrets the error.

5:25 PM ET - US District Judge Amy St. Eve [official profile] has scheduled Black's trial for March 5, 2007; she rejected a September 2006 date suggested by prosecutors because she is already slated to preside over a terrorism trial in the fall. If convicted, Black faces up to 95 years in prison and a $7 million fine in addition to possible forfeiture of his allegedly ill-gotten gains. AP has more.

Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase...

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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