Trump pardons ex-media mogul Conrad Black

Trump pardons ex-media mogul Conrad Black

FILE PHOTO: Conrad Black attends Ontario Premier Doug Ford's swearing in ceremony in Toronto,
Conrad Black attends Ontario Premier Doug Ford's swearing in ceremony in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Files

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Wednesday (May 15) signed a full pardon for former media mogul Conrad Black, who was convicted in 2007 of fraud and obstruction of justice and spent 3-1/2 years in prison.

Black, 74, a Canadian-born British citizen, once ran an international newspaper empire that included the Chicago Sun-Times, Britain's Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post.

"Lord Black's case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character," the White House said in a statement announcing the pardon.

It said Black had made "tremendous contributions to business", had written books on history and served as a tutor while in prison.

"In light of these facts, Mr Black is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency," the White House said.

The office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment.

Black, who has called Trump a friend, published a book last year praising him, titled "Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other".

Black was found guilty in the United States in 2007 of scheming to siphon off millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger, where he was chief executive and chairman.

Two of his three fraud convictions were later voided, and his sentence was shortened. He was released from a Florida prison in May 2012 and deported from the United States.

In 2013, the US Securities and Exchange Commission banned Black from acting as a director of a US company and ordered him to pay US$4.1 million in restitution.

Canada's Ontario Securities Commission ruled in 2015 that Black could no longer hold executive positions at listed companies or investment funds.

Source: Reuters/na