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Earlier discussion

Conrad Black on trial

Continued from Page 2

Sinclair Stewart: I think if you asked Lord Black whether the media has held back in its coverage of him over the past three and a half years, his answer would be a resounding No. As for the lawyers, I think they're justifiably cautious with whatever we print, and want to ensure that the reporting is fair and balanced.

Jacquie NcNish: In the past, Lord Black's libel blitzkriegs did send chills through newsrooms, but its hard to think of any media outlet that is currently pulling its punches.

Terry Turl from Toronto writes: Where is Peter White positioning himself in all this?

Paul Waldie: Peter White has been a long-time business partner of Lord Black, dating back to the late 1960s. He remains a strong supporter of Lord Black and he has been involved in some of the receivership proceedings involving Ravelston Corp. Ltd. He is a part owner of Ravelston and has backed Black in some of his motions during the receivership. It's not clear yet if White will be a witness at the trial and his name has not surfaced on any of the court filings.

Sasha Nagy writes: Can you discuss the make up of Black's defence team?

Paul Waldie: Well, it is led by Edward Greenspan, who is one of Canada's top defence lawyers. Mr. Greenspan has been given special standing in Chicago to participate in the trial and he will likely be leading most of the charge in the court room. Joining him is Edward Genson, one of Chicago's best known lawyers. The two men know each other well. Mr. Greenspan's daugther, Julianna, worked at Mr. Genson's firm for several years after graduating from Northwestern University's law school. She only left Mr. Genson's firm in order to return to Toronto to work with her father.

One other lawyer involved in the case is Marc Martin another Chicago lawyer who also comes with a strong reputation.

Sasha Nagy: Thanks for your insights into this very complicated and, from the media's perspective, very compelling case. Any closing thoughts?

Paul Waldie: Thanks for joining us. This will be a fascinating case to follow over the next few months. Not only because of Lord Black's involvement but also the potential witnesses which could include Henry Kissinger, former Bush advisor Richard Perle and former Illinois governor James Thompson.

Sinclair Stewart: Thanks for the smart questions. Just to pick up on Paul's point, one of the things we didn't talk about today is the role of the board, and how their testimony -- and their actions -- will be interpreted by the jury. Part of the defence, of course, is that all the money Lord Black and others allegedly took from Hollinger was done with the express imprimatur of the directors. The board could argue it was misled, but the big question is this: how will jurists react to a board that could be perceived as remarkably lax about its duties?

Jacquie McNish: I am holding my breath for the day David Radler takes the stand. That will be the heart of the case.

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