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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 12:31 GMT
Conrad Black protests innocence
Conrad Black

Conrad Black has protested his innocence as he awaits sentencing in the US after his conviction on three counts of fraud.

Black told the BBC that he had done "absolutely nothing" wrong.

He maintained that the evidence presented during his lengthy fraud trial in Chicago did not justify a guilty verdict.

Canadian-born Black was found guilty of swindling shareholders while running media group Hollinger International.

In addition to the fraud conviction, he was also found guilty of obstructing justice.

Black is free on $21m (10.5m) bail but the court has restricted his movements within the US.

He will be sentenced on 10 December.

Defiant tycoon

As his lawyers argue for a more lenient sentence than the possible 35-year term he faces, Black declared that he was "an innocent man" and was "fighting for his life".

Black, whose biography of disgraced US President Richard Nixon has just been published, insisted that he would overcome what he termed "these travails".

I clearly misjudged the strength of the corporate governance movement
Conrad Black

Speaking of Nixon, he said that the former president had "triumphed over everybody" despite being forced out of office in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

Remaining remarkably calm despite facing an extended stay in prison, Black recounted his trial as the result of a "war of attrition" by Hollinger shareholders.

While refusing to admit to any wrongdoing throughout the interview, Black did concede one failing on his own behalf.

"I clearly misjudged the strength of the corporate governance movement" he said.

The jury members who convicted him of receiving $3.5m of Hollinger money to which he was not entitled, were "12 people who don't have a financial background" Black told the BBC.

Promising a drawn-out campaign to prove his innocence Black declared "this story isn't over".



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