Conrad Black reactions and suppositions: The convicted fraudster is "likely to remain free after this week's bail hearing because he's a first-time offender who's repeatedly vowed to fight the charges against him." In an e-mail to the Toronto Globe & Mail, a defiant Black predicts that he will be cleared of the four charges on which he was found guilty: "'We move on to the next phase in this long war. We got rid of most of [the charges], and expect to get rid of the rest on appeal."
Jurors in the trial tell the A.P. that "the complicated corporate fraud case became easier to understand as prosecutors laid out their evidence, and camera images showing the British lord carrying boxes out to his car were key to his conviction on one charge." They note that the racketeering charge - the most serious count, and one on which Black was found not guilty - "credible" but ultimately not sustained by the evidence. FT columnist John Gapper thinks the jury did the right thing in focusing on the actual fraud, rather than the appeals to class envy that the prosecutors played too in their arguments. "The prosecutors, the media and the court of public opinion decided that Lord and Lady Black's jet-setting and partying lay at the heart of the case. The real court knew better." The Guardian's Roy Greenslade, while conceding that the government put forth a fairly inept case, but that conviction was inevitable: "He was so arrogant, so careless of propriety, that he could not see that there was a huge difference between investors' money and his own... it is hard to believe he will clear every hurdle. Jail looms for him at last."
Speaking of those investors, the Guardian reports that they're going after Black's assets. "The rump of Black's Hollinger International empire, renamed Sun-Times Media, said this weekend that it would forge ahead with a lawsuit seeking $542m (£266m) in damages from Black, his wife, Barbara Amiel, and former colleagues including Dan Colson, who used to manage the Daily Telegraph. Gordon Paris, the Sun-Times director who led an initial investigation into Black's profiteering, said the criminal conviction was a "step towards restitution and justice" for investors." Lawsuits from the S.E.C. and Canadian Hollinger investors are also moving forward.
Bits and pieces: The Wall Street Journal predictably blames a mood against corporate excess for Black's conviction and sheds a tear for the poor, rapacious white collar criminals who have to do actual time. The Times, which carried a fairly solid timeline/analysis piece this weekend, wonders if Lady Black's imperious image may have hurt her husband with the jury and contains this absolutely horrifying passage:
In her last column written before the verdict, Ms. Amiel wrote about her pending move out of her temporary Chicago home — a five-room suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. She noted that her husband was already well into a manuscript for a new book, having just published a biography of Richard M. Nixon, but that she had not used her spare time during the four-month trial productively.Wow. Fewer nights of love. If you've read all the way down to the end only to finish up with that mental image, we apologize. Serves you right, though.
"Give him another four months — and fewer nights of love — and he'll have two finished manuscripts," she noted.