Conrad Black spotted outside his Toronto home
Published Friday, May 4, 2012 10:52PM EDT
Just hours after he was released from a Florida prison, Conrad Black has been spotted on the grounds of his Toronto home.
Reporters camped outside Black's Toronto residence Friday afternoon were taken by surprise when Black was greeted by his wife Barbara Amiel shortly before 2 p.m.
The pair kissed before heading into the home, emerging again a short while later to walk through the grounds with a white dog.
Black, who spent the last night of his 37-month sentence behind bars Thursday night, was believed to have been in a convoy of vehicles that left the Miami prison at 8:16 a.m. ET.
CTV's Joy Malbon, reporting from Florida, said nobody got a glimpse of Black at the time.
From there, the 67-year-old former media baron was reportedly taken by U.S. Customs and Immigration officials to a detention centre for processing.
It's not known how much time, if any, he spent being photographed and finger-printed while paperwork was filled out there, Malbon said.
As a convicted felon without a Canadian passport, Black's return to Canada wasn't guaranteed until he was recently granted a temporary permit.
Black gave up his Canadian citizenship in 2001, following a standoff with former prime minister Jean Chretien over his acceptance of a British peerage.
Chretien enforced a 1919 law that barred Canadians from accepting titles bestowed by foreign governments, forcing Black to choose one or the other. He chose the peerage, forfeiting his Canadian citizenship to become Lord Black of Crossharbour.
Black's future, perhaps not surprisingly, became the subject of heated debate in the House of Commons during question period this week. Many MPs were upset by the fact Black was granted a temporary residence permit by Canada's Citizenship and Immigration department before he had even been released.
However Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney denied Black had received special treatment and said the approval of his permit followed normal departmental procedures.
As a former head of Hollinger, Black once controlled a media empire that included The Daily Telegraph of London, the Chicago Sun-Times and newspapers across Canada and the U.S.
His success in the media industry led to an invitation to join Britain's House of Lords, which he famously gave up his citizenship to accept.
In 2007, Black was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice charges related to his business dealings while at the helm of Hollinger.
He was resentenced last year to three-and-a-half years behind bars, but released after eight months with credit for time served.