Media tycoon Conrad Black has appeared in a Chicago courtroom to deny charges of fraud totalling $84m.
Once owner of the Daily Telegraph in London, he was indicted in October with three other executives of his former group, Hollinger International.
Two of them failed to appear in court in Chicago on Wednesday.
The British peer has called the charges that he abused the firm’s funds and diverted money from the sale of a subsidiary “absolute nonsense”.
On the way into the court, our correspondent reports that Lord Black said he was the victim of “character assassination”, but was confident of acquittal.
He was released after pleading his innocence on bail set at $20m.