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Federal judge rejects Conrad Black bid to remain free on bail pending appeal

[JURIST] Canadian-born financier and former media mogul Conrad Black [CBC profile; JURIST news archive] lost his bid Thursday to remain free on bail pending the appeal of his July conviction [JURIST report] on mail fraud and obstruction of justice charges. In December, Black was sentenced to 78 months in prison [JURIST report] and ordered to pay $125,000 and forfeit another $1 million for his conviction. US District Judge Amy St. Eve [official profile] of the Northern District of Illinois [official website] Thursday said that Black was not a flight risk nor a danger to the community, but ruled that Black's lawyers had not convinced her that his appeal would reverse his conviction or initiate a new trial. Black must report to prison by March 3. CBC News has more.

The US government originally accused [indictment, PDF] Black of diverting more than $80 million from Hollinger International and its shareholders [JURIST report] during the company's $2.1 billion sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers, but in July 2007 he was found not guilty on separate charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and tax evasion. In August 2007, Black and former Hollinger executives John Boultbee, Peter Atkinson and Mark Kipnis filed concurrent motions [JURIST report] requesting either new trials or acquittals after their July convictions. St. Eve largely rejected the motions [ruling, PDF; JURIST report], overturning one of Kipnis' mail fraud convictions while affirming all of the other convictions against the four.

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