Thursday, November 29, 2007

7 years? 5 years? 29 months?

No, I haven't forgotten about Conrad Black's upcoming sentencing for fraud, which was supposed to be the original focus of this blog. It's just that the whole FCC thing kinda popped up there and took precedence for awhile. But the old Google news alert on Tubby has heated up again with the release of his pre-sentence report. According to a report in the Toronto Star, the probation officer who interviewed Black has recommended noted that the amount that Hollinger shareholders were defrauded was ONLY $6.1 million, which should equate to a sentence of seven years. The Canadian Press interviewed lawyers in the case, and from what they say it's good news for Lord Himself, who might even get off with only five years in the slammer.

Andrew Frey, the New York lawyer handling Mr. Black's appeal, said Wednesday he was encouraged by the fact that the pre-sentence investigation report didn't back up “the government's insane request for a massive sentence.” Prosecutors have asked for Mr. Black to serve between 24 and 30 years. While Mr. Frey wouldn't discuss the range of sentencing range the defence would find appropriate, he said he hopes the judge “can use some common sense here and hopefully appreciate that this is not the crime of century — even though it's a highly celebrated case — and hopefully show some common sense in devising an appropriate sentence.”

The Globe suggests Black's co-defendants might even get off with house arrest. According to a report in the Canadian Press, judge Amy St. Eve has been inundated with letters written on Black's behalf that portray him as . . . almost human. "Black's lawyers also argued his constant pronouncements of victory throughout the trial - including called the four Jewish prosecutors 'Nazis' - was a show of optimism, not arrogance, his lawyer said." So deep is Black's "reservoir of kindness," according to his lawyers, that he should even get off with the same 29-month sentence agreed to by David Radler, Black's former business partners and the prosecution's star witness. Oy, vey! Stay tuned as the rhetoric is bound to increase by sentencing on Dec. 10.

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