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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2005, 16:11 GMT
US judge delays Conrad Black case
Lord Black at a recent event in Toronto
Lord Black could face up to 40 years in prison
Court proceedings against media tycoon Conrad Black have been postponed until next week.

The US district court in Chicago agreed to calls from Lord Black's lawyers to adjourn the case until 30 November.

Lord Black and three others are accused of fraudulently diverting almost $84m (49m) from Hollinger International, the newspaper group he used to lead.

The former Daily Telegraph owner denies the charges, but if found guilty he could face up to 40 years in jail.

Judge Amy J St Eve agreed on Monday night to adjourn the court proceedings, but ordered Lord Black to organise who would represent him before the case begins next Wednesday.

Lawyers for Lord Black have said he will appear before the court for Wednesday's hearing.

'Gross abuse'

US prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has described the alleged crime as "the grossest abuse".

Fraudulently siphoning off $51.8m from the sale of assets by Hollinger International through a series of misleading transactions
Abusing corporate perks by using a company jet for a private holiday and spending $40,000 of company funds on a party for Lord Black's wife
Fraudulently diverting $32m from Hollinger International through unauthorised transactions
Lord Black is accused of lying to shareholders at Hollinger International's AGM and causing false disclosures to be made to the Securities and Exchange Commission

Linked to a $2.1bn sale of hundreds of Canadian newspapers, Lord Black is already facing a civil case brought by US regulators.

Lord Black was ousted from Hollinger International's board in 2003. The company has since sued him.

He and his co-defendants stand accused of having cheated both Hollinger International's US and Canadian shareholders, and tax authorities in Canada.

The prosecutor alleges that Lord Black made millions of dollars of unauthorised payments from the firm to himself between 1998 and 2002 to fund his opulent lifestyle of private jets and luxury properties.

Those charged alongside Lord Black are Toronto accountant Jack Boultbee, former Hollinger International executive and attorney Peter Atkinson and attorney Mark Kipnis.

Hollinger International last year sold both the Daily Telegraph and Jerusalem Post, but continues to own the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hollinger men face fraud charges
18 Aug 05 |  Business

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