Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories
With the arrival on the witness stand of Gordon Paris—the Hollinger exec who succeeded Conrad Black as CEO and, according to Black, did a pretty good job of running the company straight into the ground—the battle is well and truly joined. One lousy hour of testimony yesterday set the defence’s hair ablaze. According to the Post, at one stage almost two dozen lawyers representing the Hollinger four rose in unison and shouted “Objection!”—a stunt even Perry Mason would not have entertained. Lots of other storylines are now in play.
The defence is pointing fingers at Torys, which at one time counted both Hollinger International and Ravelston as its clients. Torys has already paid out one of the largest settlements by a law firm in Canadian legal history ($30 million), for allegedly failing to act in International’s best interest. The various defence attorneys also spent some time yesterday separating themselves from each other (it seems no one among the defendants other than Conrad Black ever went to Bora Bora on the company jet). The Globe and Mail spilled some ink sniffing at Edward Genson for failing to realize that the Globe was a national paper before the National Post. The Times of London got a letter from Conrad Black insisting he wasn’t anything like Jay Gatsby, then assigned somebody to write a story about the fact that they got a letter from Conrad Black insisting, etc., etc. Meanwhile, the Globe was the only major paper in town to lead with the trial, and the Wall Street Journal, having pronounced yesterday on the imbroglio’s longer-term implications, had not one word to say.
Conrad Black goes on trial for fraud [People’s Daily Online]Co-defendants try to distance selves from Black [National Post]Weak out of the gate [Toronto Sun]’The kids’ stumble over Black’s accuse [Toronto Star]Lawyers drop the ball on northern knowledge [Globe and Mail]Ex-CEO says Black never gave up reins [Globe and Mail]Black’s lawyer pokes fun at his ‘snotty, arrogant’ client [Times Online]I’m no Gatsby, peer tells Times [Times Online]Conrad Black: a response [Times Online]
Image courtesy PAT CROWE II/AP (Glode and Mail)