Conrad Black was a no-show at his scheduled arraignment on fraud charges in a Chicago courtroom on Tuesday, according to published reports.
His arraignment, as well as those of co-defendants John Boultbee, a former chief financial officer, and Peter Atkinson, former general counsel, also were postponed to November 30. Former corporate counsel Mark Kipnis will be arraigned on November 29.
Black — the former chairman and chief executive officer of Hollinger International — and the other three individuals were indicted last week for stealing $51.8 million from the company. They were accused of wire fraud and mail fraud in an 11-count expanded indictment.
Ravelston Corp., which holds a controlling interest in Hollinger and where Boultbee also served as CFO, was indicted earlier this year. Ravelston entered not guilty pleas after Black gave up a Canadian legal challenge that sought to prevent the company from appearing in a U.S. court, according to the Canadian Press wire service.
Black’s Canadian lawyer, Edward Greenspan, called U.S prosecutors late Monday night to assure them that his client would appear in court on the 30, according to Canadian Press, which cited Assistant U.S. District Attorney Robert Kent. According to the wire-service report, Greenspan said Black needs more time to decide who his lawyer will be in handling the American case.
“We expect Mr. Black to be here,” Kent told the wire service. Although last week the U.S. government obtained arrest warrants, he noted, “hopefully we will not need to execute them.”