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Media magnate Black seeks speedy trial on fraud charges

[JURIST] Conrad Black [JURIST news archive], former chairman of media company Hollinger International [corporate website], told a US federal judge in Chicago Friday that he would prefer to have a trial soon. Black appeared at a court hearing held to assess the progress of the case against him. In December he pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to criminal charges [JURIST report] of fraud and racketeering, as well as obstruction of justice for destroying documents. Accusations against him include looting and misuse of company perks at Hollinger, a Chicago-based newspaper publisher with parent company in Toronto.

Black's trial, which will include associates and a holding company as co-defendants, is tentatively set to begin March 5, 2007, but the complex nature of the case may cause delays. At Friday's hearing the Canadian-born Black, now a British citizen and a member of the House of Lords, also expressed his frustration at a subpoena, now withdrawn, blocking his access to documents and personal items left in his office at Hollinger in Toronto. Reuters has more.

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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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