Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

While I’m sure the disinclined will suggest I’m fomenting a tempest in a teapot, this morning’s offerings deliver a plethora of gossip, substance and observation, all of which suggest a gathering momentum in the Trial of the Millennial Epoch. First there is the continuing testimony of former director and audit committee member Richard Burt. A patrician from central casting, Burt spent yesterday either damning the accused with their own words—reading verbatim for the jurors e-mails from Black—or parrying defence efforts to put him in league with the Creaseys, Sukonicks and DeMerchants of this world. As the Star’s Jennifer Wells reported, “Burt did not buckle. About the crucial sale of a host of U.S. community papers, noted in the company’s annual filings for 2001, Burt snapped, ‘It says they were brought to the audit committee as related-party transactions and they weren’t.’”

So effective was Burt’s condemnation, Wells further reported, that it sent the normally combative Barbara Amiel scurrying for cover:

“In a tightly fitted, long-sleeved black T, trim black pants and black patent winkle pickers, Amiel Black re-emerged in this Chicago courtroom yesterday after a hiatus that happened to coincide with the direct examination of former U.S. diplomat Richard Burt. Coincidence? Possibly. Or perhaps Ms. Black couldn’t bear the thought of listening to the marquee witness and former Hollinger director plunder her husband’s name and reputation.”

In other happenings: Board and audit committee member Marie-Josée Kravis, wife of Wall Street supremo Henry Kravis, could testify as early as today. Donald Trump is again mentioned as a possible rebuttal witness countering suggestions that Babs’ birthday bash was anything but a business meeting done up in drag.

Black is challenging Radler’s bazillion-dollar settlement with Hollinger International on the grounds that they’re still partners in Horizon U.S. (from whence Radler’s money flows) and that he was not properly consulted.

And on that note, my mind boggling on the edge of infinite incredulity (they’re still partners?), I exit stage right.

Amiel back in courtroom spot [Toronto Star]Former Hollinger director expected next at Black trial [Globe and Mail]Black tries to derail Radler deal with Hollinger [Globe and Mail] Black: ‘hosing down’ investors [National Post]Radler to say fees meant to offset pay cut [National Post]