Trump signs full pardon for British media baron Conrad Black


US President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for former media mogul Conrad Black.

In 2007 Black was convicted of defrauding Hollinger International shareholders of $6.1m (£4.7m), by paying himself a tax-free bonus from the sale of newspaper assets without the approval of the company's board.

She said Black's case attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals - including former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Elton John and Rush Limbaugh - who have "vigorously vouched for his exceptional character".

The Washington Post reported that the White House said in a statement that Black was "entirely deserving" of the pardon.

Black grew a newspaper empire from one newspaper in Quebec to what was at one point the third-largest newspaper company in the world, with the Chicago Sun-Times and the London Daily Telegraph among its holdings. Not mentioned by the White House was Black's 2018 title, Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.

In an article published by the National Post on Wednesday, he said that Trump told him in a phone call that the "supportive things" that Black had written about the president were not part of the reasoning for the pardon.

In 2007, Black was convicted of three counts of fraud and one of obstruction of justice in a Chicago court and sentenced to six and a half years in jail - more than twice the sentence handed to David Radler, his longtime partner who agreed to testify for the prosecution.

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When he was released he was deported back to Canada. "These include comprehensive biographies of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard M. Nixon, a complete history of Canada, and an impressive essay evaluating how the world would have been different had Japan not attacked Pearl Harbor" the statement continued.

Black describes his "ordeal with the US justice system" as "never anything but a confluence of unlucky events, the belligerence of several corporate governance charlatans, and grandstanding local and American judges", followed with intensity because he was a media owner.

"I said "Mr President, you do me great honour telephoning me", Lord Black wrote.

Montreal-born Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 after a spat with then prime minister Jean Chretien, who protested the media owner's peerage to Britain's House of Lords. But it was Trump on the line, apparently telling Black that the full pardon would "expunge the bad wrap" he got.

Black said Trump called him last week to personally deliver the news.

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