Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

It’s all hands on deck as the prosecution puts the former four-term governor of Illinois, big Jim Thompson, on the stand. Once Sussman et al. have led their evidence—if yesterday’s sparks between Kravis and Greenspan are any indication—Thompson’s cross-examination promises to be a real donnybrook. On a couple of occasions yesterday, Judge St. Eve was forced to separate the combatants:

“Greenspan began questioning Kravis so quickly she didn’t have time to finish answering his questions.” Reported the Post’s Mary Vallis, “The pair’s voices rose until the judge intervened. ‘Don’t talk at the same time and don’t argue with the witness,’ St. Eve told Greenspan. He paused. ‘If you don’t do it, I won’t do it,’ Greenspan then told Kravis, prompting laughter from the gallery.”

The famously combative and prickly Thompson will ratchet that kind of tension tenfold. He’ll turn the courtroom into his version of Holyfield-Tyson before anyone gets a laugh at his expense.

On other fronts, Black’s coolly ironic biographer Richard Siklos was back reporting for the New York Times. Finishing off his summary of the Kravis-Greenspan imbroglio, Siklos reminded his readers that upon receiving her resignation from the board of Hollinger International:

“Mr. Black faxed a handwritten note, accepting her resignation with regret and thanking her for her services. ‘You will be missed,’ he wrote.”

You can almost hear Siklos cranking up one eyebrow.

Heated Cross-Examination at the Conrad Black Trial [NY Times]Former board member grilled at Black trial [Financial Times]Ex-audit director grilled on memos [Chicago Tribune]Former Illinois governor testifies Tuesday [Globe and Mail]Black’s lawyer scolded for arguing with witness [National Post]