Jailed former newspaper magnate Conrad Black granted bail by federal appeals court, weeks after U.S. Supreme Court kicked his 2007 fraud conviction back to a lower court

CHICAGO , July 19, 2010 () – Jailed former newspaper magnate Conrad Black was granted bail by a federal appeals court on Monday, weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court kicked his 2007 fraud conviction back to a lower court.

The British baron and three other former executives from the media empire Hollinger International were convicted of swindling the company's shareholders out of $6.1 million.

But last month, the Supreme Court weakened the "honest services" law that was central to Black's fraud conviction. The justices left it up to a lower court to decide whether the conviction should be overturned.

Black, who has served more than two years of a 6 1/2-year sentence at a low-security federal prison in Coleman, Fla., was also convicted of obstruction after jurors saw a video of him carrying boxes of documents out of his offices, loading them into his car and driving off with them. The documents were sought by government investigators.

A call to Black's attorney, Miguel Estrada, was not immediately returned. A federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman said Black, 65, remained in prison on Monday and it was unclear when he might be released.

Before the Supreme Court ruling, prosecutors had said Black should remain in prison because the high court's decision wouldn't affect the obstruction of justice count. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago did not immediately return a phone message on Monday.

Hollinger International once owned the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph of London, The Jerusalem Post and hundreds of community papers in the U.S. and Canada.

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