Conrad Black’s defence lawyer struck back during closing arguments on Tuesday by asking why no victims were placed on the stand by the prosecution.
The U.S. government alleges Lord Black and three other senior Hollinger International executives misappropriated US$60-million from Hollinger International Inc. during the sale of newspaper assets. The government argues the money should have gone to Hollinger’s shareholders because buyers in the transactions did not request individual non-compete agreements with the executives in most cases, or with Hollinger Inc., Hollinger International’s Toronto-based parent company, which also received funds.
Prosecutors told the jury back in March that they would hear from shareholders victims of the alleged scheme, such as parents trying to save for their children’s college educations and people hoping to retire. But no such witnesses testified before the jury over the course of the trial.
On Tuesday, Black’s lawyer Edward Greenspan went on to praise the 15-member jury and urged jurors to keep an open mind. He went on to acknowledge the jurors might not have appreciated his style in the courtroom.