Montreal-born Conrad Black, who once ran the fourth-largest newspaper chain in the world, was convicted in July 2007 of a $6.1-million fraud as well as obstruction of justice. ((Tom Hanson/Canadian Press))

A U.S. Supreme Court judge has turned down former newspaper mogul Conrad Black's request to be freed from a Florida prison while he appeals his fraud conviction to the top court.

Justice John Paul Stevens rejected Black's plea Monday without comment.

Montreal-born Black, who renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to sit in the British House of Lords, has served nearly 17 months of a 6½-year term at the federal prison in Coleman, Fla. He has asked for bail several times; all his requests have been denied.

In May, the court agreed to consider overturning Black's July 2007 conviction on charges he siphoned off millions of dollars belonging to Hollinger International when he was chief executive of the media company.

The case will be argued this fall.   

Prosecutors opposed granting Black bail, arguing that his conviction for obstructing justice would be unaffected by the top court's decision.   

Black's lawyers have said that conviction would be thrown out if the fraud conviction also were overturned.

Black was convicted of three counts of fraud relating to the years he headed the company Hollinger International and one count of obstruction of justice.

Hollinger International once owned the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Telegraph of London, the Jerusalem Post and hundreds of community papers across Canada and the United States.

All of Hollinger's big papers except the Sun-Times have now been sold and the company that emerged changed its name to Sun-Times Media Group.