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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 21:05 GMT 22:05 UK
Payments wrong, says Black aide
Lord Black arriving at the Chicago Court
Lord Black faces more than 100 years in jail if convicted
Media mogul Lord Black's closest business partner has described how he knew a scheme he and his boss hatched to pay themselves bonuses was wrong.

David Radler, chief prosecution witness in Lord Black's fraud trial, described how the two divided up $600,000 (300,800) from two separate deals.

Prosecutors have argued that Lord Black and his co-defendants stole $60m from media group Hollinger International.

Lord Black has denied all charges of fraud and racketeering.

Prosecutors at Lord Black's fraud trial in Chicago have argued that the media mogul and his accomplices diverted so-called "non-compete" payments from companies buying Hollinger assets - money which should have gone to the company.

At its height, Hollinger International owned several prestigious newspapers, including Britain's Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post.

Fraud conviction

David Radler
Radler was one of Lord Black's closest business partners

During the third day of Radler's testimony, chief prosecutor Eric Sussman asked if the former Hollinger executive had advised the company's board about the $600,000 that was kept.

"No, I didn't," Radler replied.

Asked why not, the former chief operations officer of newspaper publisher Hollinger International replied: "I knew the process of creating these non-competes was wrong."

Radler, who was convicted of fraud in 2005, has agreed to co-operate with the authorities.

Prosecutors allege that Lord Black and fellow Hollinger executives effectively stole $60m over a number of years through "non-compete" deals - agreements designed to recompense a firm for not competing with an asset it has sold.

Lord Black has contended that Hollinger International's board approved all the payments in question.

If convicted, he faces a jail sentence of more than 100 years and heavy fines.

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