Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Conrad Black Asks for Convictions Dismissed, Say Prosecutors Violated His Rights: Conrad Black Wants Convictions Dismissed

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Conrad Black Asks for Convictions Dismissed, Say Prosecutors Violated His Rights: Conrad Black Wants Convictions Dismissed

Article excerpt

CHICAGO - Conrad Black's lawyers have filed a motion asking to have his remaining convictions dismissed on the basis that prosecutors "intentionally deprived" the former media baron of his right to an attorney.

The request, filed Monday in a U.S. district court in Chicago, centres around law enforcement's seizure of proceeds from the sale of his New York apartment, which Black purchased from his company Hollinger in 2000 for US$3 million and later sold for US$9 million.

Black's lawyers argue that prosecutors deceived the court to obtain two warrants to seize the assets by concealing information that would have undermined their case for taking the money.

The former press magnate sold the Manhattan dwelling for $9 million, with the intent of paying for counsel to defend him against allegations of improper conduct at Hollinger International. Because the money from the sale wasn't available to Black, his lawyers argue that denied him his right to counsel.

"Conrad Black was intentionally deprived of his right to the counsel of his choice by knowing of false statements made to the courts by the government as to its right to seize property," lawyer William Kane argues in the filings.

"The deceptive affidavit in support of the pre-indictment seizures of Mr. Black's assets spun a tale of fraud surrounding the purchase and transfer of the Manhattan apartment by and between Mr. Black and his company as a basis for seizing the apartment proceeds."

The filing accuses prosecutors of leaving out two key documents that contradicted their claims that Black defrauded Hollinger in setting a purchase price of $3 million for the apartment, the same amount Hollinger had paid for it initially, even though it had appreciated in value.

Carolyn Gurland, one of Black's lawyers, said in an interview Monday the government knew that Black had put US$4.6 million of his own money into the apartment, thereby raising his investment in the apartment to $7. …

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