U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a full pardon for former media mogul Conrad Black, who was convicted in 2007 of fraud and obstruction of justice.
Black, 74, spent almost 3½ years in a Florida prison before being released and deported back to Canada. He had originally been sentenced to 78 months in jail, but had his sentence reduced after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down several of his initial convictions.
A statement from the White House on Wednesday said Black has made “tremendous contributions to business, as well as to political and historical thought.”
It also cites several prominent individuals whom it says “have vigorously vouched for [Black’s] exceptional character.” They include former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Sir Elton John, Rush Limbaugh, and the late William F. Buckley Jr.
Black, a Canadian-born British citizen, once ran an international newspaper empire that included the National Post, the Chicago Sun-Times, Britain’s Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post.
He renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 so that he could become a British Lord. He became a resident of the United Kingdom in 1992, and remained a resident throughout 2002.
Black was found guilty in the United States in 2007 of scheming to siphon off millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger Inc., where he was chief executive and chairman.
Two of his three fraud convictions were later voided, and his sentence was shortened.
Black has remained steadfast in declaring his innocence on all of the U.S. charges and in his belief that he was subjected to unfair prosecution in the United States.
He has been living in Toronto since 2012.