U.S. Supreme Court gives Conrad Black partial victory
Conrad Black won a partial victory Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court set aside three corporate fraud convictions against the former media baron.
The court has left the ultimate resolution of Black's case to a lower appeals court -- meaning Black has not been exonerated in the case.
In a related ruling, the court ruled that former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling could not be convicted of so-called honest services fraud.
According to justices the law which covers fraud schemes to "deprive another of the intangible right to honest services" -- could be applied constitutionally only to cases involving bribery or kickbacks.
"Because Skilling's misconduct entailed no bribe or kickback," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in the ruling, "he did not conspire to commit honest-services fraud under our confined construction" of the law.
The government argues that even with the ruling the charges against Black and Skilling should be sustained.
Lawyers for both men argue that their convictions should be thrown out.
CTV legal analyst Steven Skurka said it seems inevitable that the appeals court should set "honest-services" fraud convictions aside.
"There were no bribes, and there were no kickbacks alleged by the government in the Conrad Black case," he told CTV News Channel.
Black is serving a 6.5-year prison sentence in Florida on mail fraud and obstruction of justice convictions.