Conrad Black Freed on Bail

Conrad Black has been released after serving two years of his 6 1/2 year sentence following the approval by a federal judge of his request for bail pending a review of his conviction for fraud.

Black’s request for bail was granted by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on July 19. He was released from the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex on Wednesday after posting the $2-million unsecured bond approved by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve. Black, the formal media mogul who controlled hundreds of newspapers through Hollinger International Inc., is prohibited from leaving the United States while the court reviews whether his case is still covered by the new Supreme Court definition of “honest services” fraud, for which the 65-year-old was convicted.

Black, who renounced his Canadian citizenship to become a member of the U.K. House of Lords, is scheduled to appear in court on Friday to hear the terms of his bail. Black was allowed to post bail after the Supreme Court, which previously turned down his bond requests, ruled that the honest services fraud law used to convict the media mogul was vague and too broad.

Black, along with three others, was convicted of defrauding Hollinger shareholders of $6.1 million by selling small community newspapers owned by the company and receiving millions of dollars in return for a promise that they would not compete with the new owners. Prosecutors said the money received by Black and his cohorts were owned by shareholders and that the Hollinger board had no knowledge of the transactions. Black has denied any irregularity in the sales.