Jury begins deliberations in Conrad Black trial

A federal judge sent the racketeering and fraud trial of one-time media mogul Conrad Black and other former Hollinger International executives to a jury Wednesday after 14 weeks of testimony from dozens of witnesses. The deliberations cap a trial that probed both the complex and the sensational. Its focus ranged from a blow-by-blow of Hollinger's newspaper transactions to the high-flying lifestyle of the aristocratic Black and whether he siphoned corporate money to pay for a vacation in Bora Bora, a surprise birthday party for his wife and apartments on Park Avenue in New York. Jurors were asked to decide whether the 62-year-old Black and co-defendants Peter Atkinson, Jack Boultbee and Mark Kipnis stole millions of dollars from the newspaper company that should have gone to shareholders and lied to federal investigators. All have pleaded not guilty.