Could former Telegraph owner Conrad Black be set to while away his twilight years by launching a blizzard of libel suits against those who have had the temerity to claim that he has been less than honest in his business dealings?
Black was released on bail in July pending an appeal against his conviction for fraud.
Now he has won leave to sue nine former Hollinger International directors for libel in Canada over the report they commissioned into their former chairman which formed the basis for the case against him. It accused him of ‘aggressive looting of Hollinger’and creating a business ‘in which ethical corruption was a defining characteristic of the leadership team”.
It made headlines around the world.
The question now is whether Black will renew his $11m lawsuit against journalist Tom Bower, filed in Toronto in 2007. Black accused Bower of being “vindictive, high-handed, contemptuous, sadistic” and “pathologically mendacious” in his biography of Lord and Lady Black.
If Black does succeed in clearing his name, he could find himself busy filing suits to claim damages over hundreds of highly critical media reports which have appeared since that 2004 Hollinger International investigation was first published.