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Sun-Times fails in bid to freeze Black assets

Globe and Mail Update

A legal bid to put an additional freeze on Conrad Black's assets has failed. An Ontario judge has rejected a move by Sun-Times Media Group Inc., formerly Hollinger International Inc., to tie up Lord Black's assets.

Lord Black's finances have already been restricted through a deal he reached with Toronto-based Hollinger Inc. last year. Hollinger Inc. is the controlling shareholder of Chicago-based Sun-Times, but the two companies operate separately.

Hollinger Inc. had gone to court in Ontario to order an asset freeze, but the legal action was dropped after the company and Lord Black reached a confidential agreement.

Lawyers for Sun-Times argued that a court-ordered freeze was needed because the terms of the Hollinger Inc. arrangement may not be sufficient. They also argued that Lord Black's assets should be frozen by the court until the conclusion of a civil lawsuit it filed in Chicago against Lord Black and several others, is completed. Lord Black has filed a counter suit in that case which is on hold pending the outcome of a criminal trial in Chicago involving Lord Black and three other former Hollinger group executives.

This week, Mr. Justice Colin Campbell of the Ontario Superior Court rejected Sun-Times application. The judge ruled that the request was premature given that the civil case is on hold. He also dismissed a move by Sun-Times to obtain details about the Hollinger agreement.

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