No Canada for Conrad: Black drops his bid to come home to Hogtown

No Canada for Conrad: Black drops his bid to come home to Hogtown

Happier times: Conrad Black and wife Barbara Amiel at a Cartier gala evening in May 2003 (Image: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

It’s been a few good weeks for Conrad Black, what with being released from prison after having his charges stayed by the highest court in America. But it seems that for every two steps forward, his Lordship has to take one step back: Black is now abandoning his attempt to come back to Canada. The reason? The same judge who sent him to the slammer is demanding he file an affidavit about his finances as a condition of leaving the country, and Black’s lawyers are worried it’s just a fishing trip for the prosecutors.

According to the Globe and Mail:

Lord Black, who is legally barred from travelling outside the United States, is currently visiting New York. His next court appearance, where could choose again to make an appeal to leave the country, is Sept. 20.

His lawyers fear the affidavit revealing his financial information could be used by prosecutors to revoke his bail. They tried to have Lord Black give back his bail money in 2006, saying he lied on a similar affidavit, but that effort was unsuccessful, the report said.

Sounds like all sides in this little dance might be suspicious. To be fair, one side is a federal judge and the other is a convicted felon, so suspicion is more or less compulsory. Yet it’s hard to imagine Black actually flying off to some country without an extradition treaty and living the rest of his life in seclusion.

There are, no doubt, some corks being hammered back into champagne bottles today at various tony establishments throughout Toronto. We’re sure Black is going to make it back to the city eventually,  though probably not before his birthday on August 25th. If he’s lucky, it will be before Christmas.

• Black drops bid to return to Canada [Globe and Mail]
• Conrad Black drops bid to return to Canada [National Post]
• Conrad Black drops bid to return to Canada [Toronto Sun]
• Black drops bid to return to Toronto home [Toronto Star]