Today the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal in Chicago ordered that Lord Black be granted bail pending the trial court’s review of his fraud convictions. For Black “groupies”, you will know that the United States Supreme Court found that the charges he faced under the rubric of “honest services fraud” could not be sustained unless his conduct included bribes or kickbacks. It did not. The Supremes found that the law was overly broad and that behavior amounting to no more than aggressive business practices could be caught by it.
This turn of events leaves Mr. Black with only a conviction for obstruction of justice related to his removal of 16 boxes of documents from his office. The nub of the obstruction charge was that Black was under investigation and his removal of documents interfered with the investigation.
So what now? Criminal law pundits have a number of theories, including the observation that he will never go back to jail, as his time served is sufficient punishment for the obstruction conviction. He has served 28 months. Others opine that this case is too hard to predict. After all, the only person who continued to believe that he would be found innocent of the serious fraud charges was Lord Black.
Black’s prophetic utterances in 2003 and 2004 include the following:
” I urge you, (the press) no matter how addicted you are to representing me as having
been shamed, disgraced and chased out as a scoundrel, to contemplate the possibility
that there’s just a chance I may be innocent. As time will prove, I am.”
“When everyone is finished dancing on my grave, they may be disconcerted to find that I
am not in it.”
Black’s pursuit of justice is equally matched by his articulate and charming banter.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang