Mothers, lock up your publicly traded companies: Conrad Black gets bail
The long-awaited moment is here: Conrad Black, recently vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court, has been granted bail (but as of Tuesday morning, not yet released). Black still has to appear before the judge who sentenced him to hear the terms of his bail agreement, and it’s possible that Her Honour Amy St. Eve may insist on things like the surrender of his passport, so we may not see Lord Black in Canada for some time yet. The Post, of course, is reporting that we’re his first stop once he can leave the States (the paper may as well have printed the lyrics to “Papa, Can You Hear Me?”); the Star is less sure, and much less enthused.
The CBC reports:
Wall Street securities lawyer Bill Singer told CBC News the decision came as no surprise. “It was very clear that the Supreme Court of the United States was troubled and concerned about the basis upon which portions of the criminal cases against both [Black and former Enron executive Jeff Skilling] proceeded and as a result there is a ticklish question as to whether or not … [the other charges are now void because] of the violation concerning honest services.”
“It’s not a suggestion that they’re innocent. It’s not a finding that they’re not guilty,” Singer said. “It’s just a sense that the criminal prosecution was flawed and that in fairness it is better for them to remain free until the case is re-tried and concluded.”
Yeah, because nothing says “totally vindicated” like an expert telling the press the case could be retried and concluded.
The odds of Prisoner #18330-424 seeing the inside of a cell block after this are vanishingly small. The North American media—and even some of the more predictable British joints—are going gaga for this story. Like a mountainside cowboy, we just can’t quit him. But our favourite tweet so far comes from Ivor Tossell, who all-caps “CONRAD BLACK HAS ESCAPED FROM AZKABAN.”
• Conrad Black gets bail [CBC News]
• Conrad Black expected to request return to Canada upon release [National Post]
• What happens now for Conrad Black? [Toronto Star]
• Conrad Black granted bail [Toronto Star]
• Conrad Black granted bail [Globe and Mail]
• Black return to jail unlikely, experts say [National Post]
• Conrad Black is granted bail pending appeal [BBC News]
• Court approves bail for media mogul Conrad Black [CNN]
• Adam Daifallah: Conrad Black never gave up hope [National Post]