President Donald Trump on Wednesday May 15th signed a full pardon for former media mogul Conrad Black, who was convicted in 2007 of fraud and obstruction of justice and spent 31/2 years in prison.
According to Reuters, the pardoned Black, 74, a Canadian-born British citizen, once ran an international newspaper empire, including the Chicago Sun-Times, Britain’s Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post.
"Lord Black's case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character," the White House said in a statement announcing the pardon.
Moreover, it stated that Black had made "tremendous contributions to business," written books on history and served as a tutor while in prison.
"In light of these facts, Mr Black is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency," the White House said.
From his side, Black said Trump gave him a call to say that he would be granted a full pardon, that his conviction was "unjust" and that he "should never been charged".
"The idea that I would commit a crime is a nonsense," Black told the BBC. He said that he was now "rebuilding my fortune, life goes on, this is a great occasion".
The office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment.
Last year, Black, who has called Trump a friend, published a book praising him, titled "Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other."
In 2007, Black was found guilty in the United States of scheming to draw millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger Inc, where he was chief executive and chairman.
He was released from a Florida prison in May 2012 and was deported from the US, although two of his three fraud convictions were later voided, and his sentence was shortened.
However, a year after his release, the US Securities and Exchange Commission banned Black from acting as a director of a US company and ordered him to pay $4.1 million in restitution.
Canada's Ontario Securities Commission ruled in 2015 that Black could no longer hold executive positions at listed companies or investment funds.