Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories
The weekend saw a trickle of coverage highlighted by the usual downtime mischief-making. After an associate of Mark Kipnis revealed, “I would trust him with my life… Mark is totally law abiding and no one has ever hinted otherwise,” Rick Westhead, in the Saturday Star, wondered whether Conrad Black might roll out a stream of witnesses testifying to his decency and law-abiding ways.
In a short piece in The Observer, Tara Conlan wrote, “Another week, another act in the pantomime that is the trial of Conrad Black. This week in Chicago, Donald Trump…was dropped as a witness, for reasons unexplained. Meanwhile the jury was told how Black spent $4m making his New York apartment ‘habitable.’ Essentials included marble elephants and a diamond vault.”
And finally, this morning the Globe’s Paul Waldie reports the thoughts of a former juror who sat through three weeks of the trial before being dismissed:
“‘I just never thought he would be found guilty,’ [Sandra] Grubar said in an interview. The case ‘was pretty shaky.’ Ms. Grubar, a manager at a Chicago packaging company, said she has been following the trial since she left the jury. She said some recent evidence has been compelling for the prosecution, but she still isn’t convinced there will be a conviction. At best, she said, the trial demonstrated that Lord Black and the others ‘were really sloppy’ in their business deals.”
Grubar goes on to say that, despite the obvious tedium, the jury was having no problems following the details of the case. Pantomime or not, this all bodes well for the defence.