Media mogul Conrad Black’s lawyer today moved for a mistrial, saying the prosecutors at his racketeering and fraud trial were prejudicing the jury with documents mentioning his chef and chauffeur, reports the Irish Times.
“This is inappropriate and appeals to class prejudice and I move for a mistrial,” defence attorney Edward Genson told Judge Amy St Eve.
St Eve immediately denied the mistrial demand and allowed lead prosecutor Eric Sussman to go on reading from the September 2002 message from Black to fellow executives in which he said they should not have to take “a vow of poverty.”
“We have a certain style that all these shareholders were aware of when they came in,” Black said in the document, one of the “musings” that he periodically sent to his fellow executives.
In the “musing,” Black referred to complaints about his use of the company jet and other aspects of his lifestyle.
He said it was important not to “appease the lust for authority of the more aggressive institutional investors.”