Trump Pardons Former Media Mogul Conrad Black

Conrad Black has been granted a full pardon by U.S. President Donald Trump

Not only that Black would receive a full pardon from criminal charges, as he did on Wednesday, but that the pardon would be communicated by a White House led by a former business associate, real estate tycoon Donald Trump - a bit player in the saga of Black's fall from atop an global media empire spanning three continents.

His legal battles began in 2004 when he was accused of siphoning off tens of millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger International, his holding company.

It also said that many high-profile individuals had "vigorously vouched for his exceptional character", including Elton John and former USA secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who served on the board of Hollinger International. Hollinger International was one of the biggest newspaper publishers in the world, and included such publications as the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Jerusalem Post and the National Post (Canada).

Lord Black, who has called Mr Trump a friend, published a book previous year praising him, titled Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other.

In an article published by the National Post on Wednesday, he said that Trump told him in a phone call that the "supportive things" that Black had written about the president were not part of the reasoning for the pardon.

In 2007, Black was convicted of obstruction of justice and fraud, for illegally pocketing money that should have gone to stockholders.

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"The idea that I would commit a crime is a nonsense", Mr Black told the BBC. He was released from a Florida prison in May 2012 and deported from the United States. The statement also noted that Black is "the author of several notable biographies", but didn't mention the glowing book Black published about Trump past year.

Sanders said Black is the author of several notable biographies, including volumes on Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, but she did not mention his book about Trump.

He was ennobled as Lord Black of Crossharbour in 2001, having renounced his Canadian citizenship to become a Conservative peer.

He wrote a column Thursday in Canada's National Post describing how Trump called him and revealed the pardon. But it was Trump on the line, apparently telling Black that the full pardon would "expunge the bad wrap" he got. "He said that there would be some controversy, "but you can handle that better than anyone".

Earlier this month, Trump pardoned Michael Behenna, a former soldier who had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for unpremeditated murder in a combat zone by a military court.

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