The Ontario Court of Appeal has given the green light to Conrad Black to pursue libel lawsuits against his American-based employers in the province.

Black filed the suits in Ontario Superior Court over statements about the former media mogul's use of Hollinger International shareholder money.

Hollinger Inc. fired Black and other executives in 2004. In 2006, the company rebranded as the Sun-Times Media Group Inc.

The statements were published on the U.S.-based Hollinger International website, then republished by many media outlets in Ontario.

The defendants argued the Ontario court has no jurisdiction.

But the Appeal Court agreed with Black's lawyers, who say the former media mogul established his reputation in Ontario, so that's where the lawsuits should be heard.

"In my opinion, the facts relevant to Black’s claim relating to publication in Ontario and the damage to Black's Ontario reputation form a significant connection between Black's claims and Ontario," Justice Andromache Karakatsanis said in the ruling.

"Accordingly, in all these circumstances, I would not interfere with the motion judge's finding that there was a real and substantial connection between Black's claim and Ontario."

The court also ordered the defendants in the libel action to pay Black $35,000 in legal expenses.

With files from The Canadian Press