Conrad Black: 'I'll Be Back' -- but Not in Newspaper Business

Article excerpt

With is sentencing on federal fraud charges just 10 days away, a defiant Conrad Black told British radio talk show Friday that he will be back no matter what happens -- but not in the newspaper business.

"I only have the background in two areas: publishing and finance," he said, according to reports in the Daily Telegraph and The Times of London. "I think I could return to finance. I mean, this is not a difficult area to make money in."

Earlier this week, the lawyers Black hired after his conviction in July to work just on his sentencing filed a thick document asserting that he was a humble man devoted to justice, Black struck a far different tone on the BBC Radio 4 program "Today."

"This isn't a fall from grace and this isn't the end," he said. "Even in the worst case I will be back."

Should he go to prison, Black declared, he would consider that "I am merely participating in compounding the injustice which will be the accepted fact of this case before long."

Black suggested his conviction was a total shock, saying he never took the stand in his own defense because "it was not conceivable to any of the defendants or their counsel that we had not established well beyond reasonable doubt what we needed to achieve acquittals on every count."

As is his habit, Black attacked press coverage of his trial -- especially the British media, which he said included a "false bourgeois piety and priggishness that assumes whatever an American prosecutor says is true. …