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Canada hearing begins on tycoon Conrad Black

Updated at: 08/16/2013 12:05 PM
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(AP) TORONTO - Former media tycoon Conrad Black’s legal battle with the Ontario Securities Commission will continue in October, but his lawyer said Friday he’s considering filing a request to have the proceedings stopped.

Black’s lawyer, Peter Howard, called the proceedings "entirely unnecessary." A confidential pre-trial hearing was set for Oct. 21.

Black, who did not attend Friday’s hearing, is accused of a scheme to take proceeds from the newspaper business he once controlled.

The Canadian-born Black already served 37 months of a 42-month sentence in the U.S. following convictions there for fraud and obstruction of justice on related activities, which occurred more than a decade ago.

A U.S. court recently gave final approval for a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Black, who agreed to pay $4.1 million in restitution and abide by limitations on his business activities there.

Now it’s Canada’s turn, with proceedings to determine whether Black and his former colleagues should be banned from buying or trading in securities and from becoming directors of a public company in Ontario.

The Ontario Securities Commission alleges that directors and officers of Hollinger Inc. and Hollinger International engaged in a scheme to take company proceeds through a system of "non-competition’" payments. Among Hollinger’s holdings were the London-based Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and numerous Canadian publications including the National Post.

Hollinger International was a U.S. public company, while Hollinger Inc. is a Canadian company.

Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to accept a British peerage.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)