Conrad Black to file defamation suit for $1.1 billion

Conrad Black is filing a $1.1-billion defamation suit against authors of critical report

Conrad Black is filing a $1.1-billion defamation lawsuit against a special committee of Hollinger International's board over a critical report that accused him of looting the newspaper company.

Black's lawyer, Ed Greenspan, has served notice to the Hollinger committee that prepared the report, and to Richard Breeden, the former SEC chairman who supervised it. Hollinger's vice-president for investor relations has also been served.

The suit, which will be filed in Ontario, seeks $1 billion in damages, along with punitive and exemplary damages of $100 million.

In August, a special committee of Hollinger's board accused Black and his partner of running a "corporate kleptocracy" that resulted in the company being looted of $400 million US. Black vehemently denied the accusations.

A statement from Black said payments to him that the special committee were so critical of were "justifiable and were authorized and disclosed by sophisticated and fully informed independent directors."

This is the latest lawsuit in the Black versus Hollinger saga. Black had launched another $850-million suit earlier this year, and Hollinger International is suing him for $1.25 billion.

This latest lawsuit is expected to be filed in about 10 days.