Wednesday, April 04, 2007


The indictment and trial of Conrad Black, Canadian-born multi-millionaire and newspaper tycoon, and owner of the title of Lord Black of Crossharbour in the British House of Lords, arranged for him by Tony Blairschmuck in 1999, has caused shock among the billionaire class of media moguls and their hangers on throughout the world. Blackheart had to give up his Canadian citizenship to accept the title but he stands to lose a lot more than that as he faces up to 100 years in The Pen if convicted on the charges announced in November 2006 by US Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and Asst. Attorney General Alice Fisher of the US Department of Justice’s Criminal Division;

“Officers and directors of publicly traded companies who steer shareholders money into their pockets should not lie to the board of directors to get permission to do so. The indictment charges that the insiders at Hollinger (Blackheart’s Company) – all the way to the top of the corporate ladder; whose job it was to safeguard the shareholders; made it their job to steal and conceal” Mr Fitzgerald told the ravenous press crowd waiting for details.

“Even the highest level executives must know that they cannot escape responsibility if they engage in fraudulent misconduct. The frauds alleged in this indictment were blatant and pervasive; they extended from back rooms to the board room, and from Park Avenue to the South Pacific” added Mr Robert Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI.

Keep on Singing

However it was another musical note from the singing of David Radler, former crony of Blackheart at Hollinger International who turned State’s Evidence last September and is now cooperating with the prosecutors against his former colleagues, which snookered Blackheart and the rest of the gang. Blackheart himself was caught on videotape loading 13 boxes of documents from his Toronto office into his limousine on March 20, 2005 only hours after a US District Court ordered the production of the documents as part of another investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that Blackheart and others swindled Hollinger International of more than $80 M.

The Chicago indictments allege that the sale, in 2000, of hundreds of Canadian newspapers owned by Hollinger for $2.1 Billion was skimmed of $51.8 Million in so-called “not to compete” under-the-counter deals by Blackheart and his accomplices which were concealed from the Hollinger board of Directors which included such worthies as Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle. Also included are such gems as the allegation that Blackheart charged $40,000 of a $62,000 bill for a party for his wife, right-wing loud mouth Barbara Amiel, at swish New York restaurant “La Grenouille” to the Hollinger company accounts without informing the Board.

Blackheart and his right-wing screech-owl missus, Barbara Amiel, have been darlings of the Right in North American and European politics for years. Amiel, born in London to a jewish family, but brought up in foggy Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where she must have felt at home among the smokestacks and permanent fog over the city to which her mother emigrated the family after a divorce. Known for OTT rants in “The Spectator” and “Daily Telegraph” owned by fourth hubby Blackheart, Amiel’s unabashed addiction to galactic shopping expeditions for $2000 handbags, fur coats and hundred-pair shoe raids on the glitziest New York shopping emporia hasn’t helped Hubby in his hour of trial since most of it was allegedly paid for out of Hollinger company funds.

When Blackheart visited Dublin in 2003 he was eulogised by the “Irish Times” in a full-page, grovelling display of “sun-shines-out-of-his-a$$” idolatry usually reserved by the likes of the “Catholic Herald” for the Pope. Needless to say, no such effusions appeared in the same newspaper when the trial opened of this puffed-up media baron whose “achievements” we were all supposed to admire and emulate not too long ago.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/Dublin, 04 Aibreán/April 2007.

(Sources: Chicago Tribune; The Guardian; Toronto Globe & Mail; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Agence France Presse)

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