Conrad Black to be released from prison in Florida

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The Independent US

Conrad Black, the peer and former proprietor of The Daily Telegraph who was jailed in 2008 for fraud, has been granted bail by a federal appeals court in the US. He will now be released from Florida's Coleman Federal Correctional Complex while an appeal court reviews his conviction.

The decision came after a US Supreme Court ruling last month opened the way for Black to challenge his conviction for his part in a multimillion dollar fraud. The terms of bail will be determined by the US District Court in Chicago. He was still being held in prison last night, and a federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman said that it was unclear when the 65-year-old would be freed.

Black was convicted in 2007 of diverting funds due to his publishing company Hollinger International for personal benefit. Last month, the Supreme Court set aside a ruling upholding Black's convictions, saying the US government had not applied the "honest services" law correctly.

Black and three former Hollinger executives were convicted in July 2007 of diverting £4m of funds away from the company's shareholders. He was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison, and has since served more than two years of the jail term. Black was convicted in Illinois of three charges of fraud and one of obstructing justice. The obstruction charge came after jurors saw a video of him carrying boxes of documents from his offices, loading them into his car and driving off. The documents were sought by government investigators. Before the Supreme Court ruling, prosecutors had argued Black should remain in prison because the high court's decision didn't apply to the obstruction of justice count.

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