Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

It’s as though we’ve never been away. On Sunday night, with the Christmas lights of Chicago exploding along every throughway, reporters were piling into the restaurants and bars of the Loop chewing over the possibility that Lord Black might finally open his mouth inside Amy St. Eve’s courtroom. There were the usual prognostications (the consensus seems to be seven to 10 years).

The newly minted New York correspondent for The Telegraph, James Quinn, is on the elevator this morning at 6:30 a.m., all jitters and bluster. He takes a turn out the hotel door the wrong way down Dearborn, then turns back the other way. He fumbles with a map and points out somewhat redundantly, “I have a map right here.” As we plow toward the courthouse, he gains a certain confidence. “It’s always difficult to write when it’s your former proprietor who’s in the dock.” Further along he tries a joke: “We’re all here for Conrad. I can’t imagine anyone’s going to stick around to hear whether Jack Boultbee gets his alcohol treatment program.” I squeeze out a queasy laugh. On arrival at the courthouse door, the usual coterie of hacks are there vibrating with caffeine-injected anticipation. Worthington, Westhead, The Guardian’s Andrew Clark, bloggers, columnizers and, looking perfect for television before seven in the morning for God’s sake, BNN’s Amanda Lang. Among the overnight press, Andrew Clark affords the most interesting fodder speculating on Conrad’s prospects before the bench.

There is speculation that Black will address the court—his sentencing consultant, Jeffrey Steinback, told reporters over the weekend that he expected Black to “exercise his right” to speak. If he does, experts say he will need to comport himself in an uncharacteristically humble, conciliatory way to avoid making his predicament worse. “Unless it was scripted very carefully, if I were his lawyer, I would not let him speak,” said Rebekah Poston, a white-collar defence specialist at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. “What you really want to try to do is persuade the judge that there are particular aspects of his character which merit a lower sentence.”

And in one of the great turnabouts of history, Rick Westhead, one of Black’s most ferocious tormentors, conducted an interview with the great man at a restaurant in Palm Beach. The guy must really want to talk.

And so we wait lined up yet again on the 12th floor, the marshals keeping a watchful eye. In three or four hours, we’ll all be the wiser…

Black risks 10 years if he remains defiant: Source [The Guardian]

Lord Black’s day of reckoning: Source [Globe and Mail]

Black faces up to 24 years in prison: Source [National Post]

My dinner with Conrad: Humble pie is not on the menu: Source [Toronto Star]