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Friday, November 21, 2008

Conrad Black pursues clemency from Bush as way out

Conrad Black is pinning his hopes on clemency from U.S. President George W. Bush as a last-ditch effort to get out of jail early, and he wants his former publishing company to foot the legal bill.

Lawyers for the deposed press baron, who is serving a 61/2-year prison sentence in Florida for fraud and obstruction of justice, recently submitted legal bills to Sun-Times Media Group, Inc., some of which referred to work done in pursuit of a clemency plea, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The sources said the company is balking at shouldering the payments, even though it has been forced by the courts to pay $117-million (U.S.) on the defence of Lord Black and other former company officials.

“We try to draw the line at outrageous things, and this is sort of one of them,” said one person close to the company, once a sprawling Chicago-based newspaper empire known as Hollinger International Inc.


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