Conrad Black released on bail ahead of appeal

Former Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black has been granted bail by the US Supreme Court pending an appeal against his conviction for fraud.

The former chairman and chief executive of Hollinger International has served more than two years of a six-and-a-half year sentence after being convicted of three counts of fraud and one of obstruction.

A Chicago District Court will now determine the terms of his bail bond after the Supreme Court found that the convictions of Black and three other men relied on a corruption law that was too broad ranging.

Black was convicted in July 2007 after the jury at his trial found that that he and other executives had illegally received $6.1m (£4m) of shareholders’ money between them.

Two of the men, Peter Atkinson and John Boultbee, were sentenced to 24 months and 27 months in jail respectively over three counts of mail fraud.

Former corporate lawyer Mark Kipnis escaped jail, receiving five years’ probation and 275 hours of community service despite being found guilty of two counts of mail fraud.

During the highly complex four-month trial, the court was given details of Black’s lavish lifestyle.

The jurors heard from more than 40 witnesses during 14 weeks of evidence before they retired to consider their verdicts and deliberated for 12 days.

Black began his sentence in March, 2008 and has been serving his sentence at a low security prison in Florida. Black was also fined $125,000 (£82,000).

He was granted the right of appeal against his conviction in May last year by the Supreme Court after an earlier appeal hearing in Chicago upheld his conviction.

The Supreme Court ordered the Chicago appeals court to review the conviction.

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