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Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

After weeks of andante, the case turns lively this week as the prosecution tempo accelerates toward its crescendo and climax. With David Radler in sight, the defence continues its cross-examination of Marie-Josée Kravis, followed, according to reports this morning, by audit committee chairman James Thompson. Coverage on the weekend was highlighted by a feature profile of Radler in the Chicago Tribune and a summary piece in The Times of London by Black–Amiel biographer Tom Bower. The Trib featured quotes from long-time Black adjutant John Fraser, previewing at least one aspect of the defence’s coming character assassination of Radler: “He was probably the easiest person to bully at Hollinger because he was such a bully himself,” said Fraser. “If you stand up to a bully, they’re the first to cave in. The prosecution team probably scares him out of his wits” (i.e., the quisling weasel is lying to save his skin). As for Bower, whose slasher bio of the Blacks puts him squarely in the prosecution camp, one senses his pleasure in reporting that:

“The entry of Marie-Josée Kravis, the Queen of Manhattan’s social A-list, into Lord Black’s fraud trial was not observed by his wife, Barbara Amiel, last Friday. Rather than face the ordeal, Amiel stayed in her hotel room. That also saved her seeing Black’s pained expression. He would have surely recalled that while most of his media empire was sold, he spent millions on mansions, jets, couture clothes and jewellery to maintain Lady Black’s membership of Kravis’s aristocratic club.”

Ouch.

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