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Jul 11,2007
Conrad Black jury deadlocked
by UPI

CHICAGO -- The jury in Conrad Black's fraud and racketeering trial in Chicago sent a note to the judge Tuesday saying it was deadlocked and asking for advice.

"We have discussed and deliberated on all of the evidence and are still unable to reach a unanimous verdict on one or more counts. Please advise," the note said.

"P.S. We have read the jury instruction very carefully."

Black was expressionless and leaned back in a chair with his legs crossed as U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve read the note, The Toronto Star reported.

Ron Safer, a lawyer for Black co-defendant Mark Kipnis, told the court the jury had "been at this state for some time" and instructing them to further deliberate could cause "futility."

The judge recalled the jury to court and re-read a portion of the jury instructions to them. She asked they continue deliberations Wednesday morning.

The 12 jurors, who must agree unanimously on each count, have deliberated for 52 hours over nine days.

Black, 62, faces 13 criminal charges, including mail and wire fraud, tied to accusations he and associates cheated shareholders in the Hollinger International Inc. newspaper empire out of more than $60 million.

If convicted on all counts, Black could be sentenced to 91 years in prison and forced to forfeit much of his fortune.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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