[JURIST] Hollinger Inc. [corporate website], the Canadian holding company with an interest in the newspaper publishing giant Hollinger International [corporate website], has agreed to cooperate [press release] with the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] in the investigation and prosecution of former CEO Conrad Black [CBC profile; JURIST news archive] and other former Hollinger executives. Black faces criminal fraud charges [indictment, PDF] in connection with the $2.1 billion sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers and alleged abuse of corporate perquisites at Hollinger. He has pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] and his trial is set to begin in federal court in Chicago next March.
Under its agreement [text] Monday with the US Attorney's office, Hollinger acknowledged that "its officers, directors or employees acted illegally in connection with Inc.'s receipt of approximately $16.55 million in non-compete payments and that it is responsible for the repayment of such money." Hollinger also agreed to assist the Justice Department's investigation and federal prosecutors will not pursue Hollinger "for any crimes committed by its officers, directors or employees relating to the sale of various International newspaper publishing groups in the United States between 1998 and 2000." CBC News has more.