Former Hollinger head pleads not guilty to new felony charges

[JURIST] Canadian-born media tycoon Conrad Black [CBC profile], former chairman of publishing giant Hollinger International, pleaded not guilty in Chicago Friday to an additional four felony counts [US DOJ press release, PDF] that include racketeering and obstruction of justice. Black, a member of the UK House of Lords who gave up his Canadian citizenship, was originally indicted on criminal fraud charges [JURIST report] for the alleged $84 million defrauding of the company in connection with the sale of several hundred of its newspapers in Canada and the US; he now stands accused of violating court orders when he carried boxes filled with documents out of his office after-hours in May. Black and his co-defendents, two former Hollinger lawyers and an accountant, are currently free on bond after denying the multiple counts of fraud. In September Black's former deputy David Radler agreed to a guilty plea [JURIST report] on lesser charges in exchange for his testimony against his former co-workers. After Black's not guilty plea Friday the presiding judge The Guardian has more.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that Black had pleaded guilty to the new charges. JURIST regrets the error.

5:25 PM ET - US District Judge Amy St. Eve [official profile] has scheduled Black's trial for March 5, 2007; she rejected a September 2006 date suggested by prosecutors because she is already slated to preside over a terrorism trial in the fall. If convicted, Black faces up to 95 years in prison and a $7 million fine in addition to possible forfeiture of his allegedly ill-gotten gains. AP has more.

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