Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Yes, GUILTY as charged: the decision of the Chicago Jury in the trial of former Meeja Mogul , Conrad Black, also known as Lord Blackheart of Muckharbour, a title conferred by Tony Blairschmuck as a reward for Blackheart’s newspapers backing the imperialist War on Iraq. The Friday 13th July verdict proved dramatically unlucky for Blackheart, once the dahling of the Right all over the world and kiss-me-a$$ buddy of Buckfush and the American Neo-Cons cabal, now faces up to 30 years in the pen for his crimes

Prosecutors are demanding 15 to 20 years, although some lawyers suggested it would more likely be closer to five years. Defence lawyers said Blackheart would appeal against the convictions. Looking shattered and disbelieving, he stared in front of him as Judge Amy St Eve read out the verdicts. Co-defendants, Jack Boultbee, Peter Atkinson and Mark Kipnis, were also found guilty of fraud.

The US government petitioned for Blackheart to go straight to prison, describing him as a "flight risk" who might flee to Canada or Britain. Defence counsel Edward Greenspan pleaded for bail to continue, insisting his client would appear for sentencing. The Judge allowed Blackheart to remain at liberty pending a hearing on Thursday, but she ordered him to remain in Chicago. Blackheart was forced to hand his UK passport to the court clerk before hurrying away without a word.

Delivered just after 11am local time, the verdict ended a four-month trial and marked the final humiliation for the once lauded press baron who previously counted Baroness Thatcher, Princess Tony and Henry Kissinger amongst his friends. No doubt, Blackheart is now box-office poison in those quarters. In a cutting irony, the headline of the London “Daily Telegraph” once one of Blackheart’s prize possessions, announced; “Black, the fraudster”

The US attorney who brought the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, said it showed "grave concern" about integrity at the highest echelons of multinationals which had arisen when firms such as Enron and WorldCom collapsed. "The message is a very simple one," said Mr Fitzgerald, who also led the prosecution of the White House aide to Cheneyshite, “Scooter” Libby, recently convicted of obstructing justice but, immediately afterwards given a pardon by Buckfush; "If you're going to take liberties, and break the law with other peoples' money, there are going to be consequences." There was a public interest need to ensure "insiders in public corporations dealing with shareholders' money do not engage in self-dealing".

The case against Blackheart revolved around a series of phoney "non-compete" agreements attached to the sale of newspapers in America and Canada owned by Blackheart’s company, Hollinger International. According to the US government, he and his colleagues used these little-noticed clauses to skim as much as $60m from Hollinger. Indicted on nine fraud charges, he was convicted of three, amounting to embezzlement of $6.5m. The jury dismissed charges relating to his expense claims, and billing Hollinger for a holiday to Bora Bora and for his wife's 60th birthday party.

Throughout the trial, Blackheart has been ensconced at Chicago's Ritz-Carlton hotel. He all the time protested his innocence and lambasted prosecutors in vitriolic language, declaring he was "at war" with the US government and declaring his opponents were "Nazis".

Blackheart & Missus, right-wing screech
owl Babs Amiel, appropriately dressed as
Marie Antoinette, on-the-town in more
lavish mode before justice caught up with

A lawyer specialising in white-collar crime, Andrew Stoltmann, said chances of a successful appeal were slim, given the leeway allowed the defence: "I think Conrad Black has virtually no grounds for appeal. Judge Amy St Eve bent over backwards to give him a fair trial."

Once again, a jumped-up celeb Meeja Mogul, feted in government circles everywhere, and using the tremendous influence of the press to peddle lies and distortions for the political benefit of the rich and powerful elites he attached himself to, has been exposed as a miserable fraudster and immoral purveyor of blatant untruth and propaganda while lining his own pockets at the same time.

Sentencing has been set for November 30, 2007.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/Dublin, 25 IÚIL /JULY2007.

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