* Black has been free on bail awaiting resentencing
* Second time his case reached the Supreme Court
* Empire included newspapers in London, Chicago, Jerusalem
WASHINGTON, May 31 The U.S. Supreme Court on
Tuesday cleared the way for resentencing former media baron
Conrad Black next month in Chicago for fraud and obstruction of
justice after rejecting his appeal.
A U.S. appeals court in October upheld Black's 2007
conviction on one fraud count and for obstructing justice while
it overturned two other fraud convictions. It ruled that the
case be sent back to the trial judge for resentencing.
The ruling was based on a Supreme Court decision in June
2010 that narrowed the reach of a fraud law used to convict the
Canadian-born Black and other former executives at one-time
newspaper publishing giant Hollinger International Inc.
Black, who had been a member of Britain's House of Lords,
appealed to the Supreme Court and argued his entire conviction
should have been thrown out based on the high court's decision
The U.S. Justice Department opposed his appeal. It said
Black's arguments lacked merit, the case does not warrant
Supreme Court review and that any jury instructions errors were
Black's resentencing is scheduled on June 24 before a
federal judge in Chicago. Black, 66, has been free on bail
since July after serving nearly 2-1/2 years of his original
6-1/2-year prison term.
Black, who had been found guilty by a jury in Chicago of
defrauding Hollinger, once led the world's third-largest
English-language publishing empire that included London's Daily
Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post.
The Supreme Court refused to hear Black's appeal in a brief
order, without any comment.
The Supreme Court case is Black v. United States, No.
(Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Eric Beech)