CHICAGO - Former newspaper executive David Radler, who was jailed at a Pennsylvania federal prison, has been turned over to Canadian authorities.

Radler, 65, was released Sept. 18, Traci Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed Tuesday.

Radler's lawyer, Anton Valukas, said his client was turned over to authorities in Canada.

The transfer came under a treaty that allows Canadian nationals to serve sentences imposed by U.S. courts in their home country.

But Radler's prison time could be cut short by his transfer.

Radler went to prison for joining Conrad Black in swindling the Hollinger International media empire out of millions of dollars.

He entered the Moshannon Correctional Institute in February to start a 29-month sentence after pleading guilty to a single count of mail fraud under a bargain that included his testimony against former partner Black.

But Canadian rules allow for very short sentences in similar cases, raising the possibility he was eligible for release soon after crossing the border.

Valukas declined comment Tuesday on any timing for his client's release.

Valukas said after Radler's sentencing hearing he "would try to have him in a facility that is closer to his home" in Vancouver.

He said at the time Radler chose Moshannon because "it's a facility which, I'm told, (hosts) other Canadians and it's a good facility."

While Moshannon is a low-security jail, the two prisons closest to Radler's home are the Ferndale Institution, in Mission, B.C., a minimum-security prison, and William Head Prison, near Victoria, which has maintained grounds and until recently included a miniature golf course.

The transfer would need approval by the Canadian and U.S. governments and, because of Canadian rules, could result in a sentence of as little as six months for Radler.

Black, a Canadian-born British lord and the former face of the Hollinger International newspaper holding empire, is serving a 6-1/2-year fraud sentence.

Radler was granted a more lenient sentence of 29 months and a $250,000 fine in exchange for testifying against Black and three other executives in a four-month trial last year involving deals made by the former Hollinger newspaper empire.

Radler pleaded guilty to one mail fraud count and prosecutors dropped six other fraud counts against him.

Black was charged with taking part in a scheme under which numerous Hollinger-owned newspapers were sold off and money was included in some of the deals for so-called non-compete payments.

Such payments are common in the newspaper business when buyers want to make sure the sellers don't come back to the same circulation area to compete.

Prosecutors said the buyers in the Hollinger International sales didn't really want such agreements and even if they had, any payments should have been made to the corporation and not Black and a group of executives around him.

Black maintained he knew little about the agreements and never intended to swindle anyone.

Black and his lawyers fiercely attacked Radler during the four-month trial for choosing to testify and accused him of lying about Black's role in the fraud scheme to secure his deal with prosecutors.

At the trial, Black dismissed Radler's testimony, saying outside of court: "I don't think any jury in the world would convict anybody on the basis of what he said. I repeat my long-standing view that this was never a criminal case -- except possibly against him."

Prosecutors appeared to agree with at least part of that statement by the end of the trial, distancing themselves from Radler's less-than-stellar testimony and telling the jury they could find Black guilty even if they ignored everything Radler had said.

But his testimony was enough to help convict Black.

Hollinger International at one time owned the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Telegraph (London) and the Jerusalem Post, as well as hundreds of U.S. and Canadian community papers. The Telegraph and the Post have been sold and the company has changed its name to Sun-Times Media Group.