November 22, 2008

Conrad Black asks Bush for pardon

Disgraced former media tycoon Conrad Black is asking U.S. President George Bush for clemency from his 6 and a-half year prison sentence, officials said.

Black, 64, is serving time in Coleman, Fla. He has asked Bush to pardon him in an act of clemency before he leaves office in January, U.S. Justice Department officials confirmed Saturday to The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper formerly owned by Black's company Hollinger International Inc.

Black, born and raised in Canada, spent eight years as chairman and chief executive of Hollinger, owner of such newspapers as the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post, before quitting in 2003. His resignation came after an investigation by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission revealed that he and other Hollinger executives had received millions of dollars of unauthorized payments.

Black was convicted last year of criminal fraud in a Chicago trial.

Citing unnamed justice system experts, the Telegraph said it is unlikely Bush will grant Black's request for a full pardon because he is so early into his jail term.