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Spotted: Conrad Black resentenced, asbestos and strip-searched man sues Toronto police

Categories: Canada

Conrad Black sentenced to more prison time

conrad-black-220.jpgFormer media baron Conrad Black was resentenced on Friday to 42 months in prison on fraud and obstruction of justice charges, which means he could serve up to 13 more months in prison.

In Federal Court in Chicago, Judge Amy St. Eve also ordered him to pay a $125,000 fine.

Black had already served 29 months in the Coleman federal prison in Florida before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down some of his initial convictions, citing a misuse of the "honest services" provision of the U.S. fraud statute. His original sentence was for 78 months in prison after multiple convictions on fraud and obstruction of justice charges.

The court agreed to accept the time he has already served, 29 months, as part of his new sentence of 42 months.

Black's reentering prompted a lot of discussion from community members.

"Conrad got off fairly lightly," Gary Jessop wrote. "The 'honest services' provision of the U.S. fraud statute is supposed to apply to kickbacks. It seems to me the non-compete fees Conrad pocketed without board consent were exactly that: kickbacks. But the Americans let him off the hook for that, So we'll likely be hearing from Conrad again in under a year, probably on the Canada immigration issue. I'm sorry for Barbara though."

"He better stay behind bars where he belongs!"  dbz4lifemm said.

Black, born in Montreal, gave up his Canadian citizenship in 2001 in order to join the British House of Lords. Recently, however, he has said he wants to return to Canada. We asked you whether you thought Black should regain his citizenship. As of 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, more than 5,990 votes were cast. About 79 per cent of respondents believe that Black should not regain his Canadian citizenship.

"Why should he get any special deals?" jesse29 asked. "And as for returning to Canada ... He is the one who left and gave up his citizenship."

"Let the House of Lords support him!" wrote katess.

PatOrleans disagreed. "Conrad Black had to relinquish his Canadian citizenship due to the political animosity from the Liberal gov't at the time the British government wished to award a peerage. The prosecution in the United States is perceived by many as more of a persecution than a fair and balanced legal address of the facts. On balance, Conrad Black has provided in his lifetime more than sufficient reason for his Canadian citizenship and I support a reinstatement."

Canada wins battle to keep asbestos off hazardous list

asbestos-cp-9901353-220-pic.jpgCanada won the fight, for at least another two years, to keep asbestos off an international list of hazardous chemicals as discussions wrapped up in Geneva on Friday.

The conference of participants to the Rotterdam Convention ended without agreement on whether to add chrysotile asbestos to the Annex 3 list.

The country was one of only a handful -- and the only western country -- to maintain its objection until the end of the week, denying the conference the consensus it needed to make the change.

Many commenters expressed disappointment with the Canadian government's position on this matter.

"I find this situation incredibly embarrassing as a Canadian," doctorjake wrote. "I lost a brother to lung cancer caused by asbestos and the fact that my country exports this to other countries saying it is safe if handled correctly (when they know more than likely it will not be) and are willing to put people at risk is unpardonable. They are choosing to put their political and economic concerns ahead of the value of human life, clearly showing what their priorities are."

gofiger argues it is "morally wrong to risk the health of many for the profit of a few. Stick to that code and maybe we can start fixing this wrecked planet."

"If this stuff is so safe then why do North American crews wear hazmat suits when they remove it from buildings?" asked Just another Canuck. "I guess they just like to dress up in hot, sweaty clothing in the middle of summer."

Man arrested, stripped before G20

g20-search-220.jpgThe lawyer for a man suing the Toronto Police Service says his client was "terrified" when he was arrested, strip-searched and led naked past a female officer a few days prior to last year's G20 Summit.

In an interview on CBC News Network on Friday, lawyer Murray Klippenstein said his client, Sean Salvati, 33, was held without access to a lawyer for 11 hours before being released.

A police security video, posted by the Toronto Star after it was obtained by Salvati's lawyer through freedom of information requests, shows a completely naked Salvati being led by three male officers out of an interrogation room and past a female officer.

Salvati is also asking for $75,000 in compensation in the Ontario Court of Justice. His lawsuit also names four police officers and the Attorney General of Canada.

None of the allegations in Salvati's statement of claim have been proven in court and no statement of defence has been filed.

Some CBC community members found the story disturbing.

"Repulsive," Benjasi wrote. "I'm not against the police, but that is COMPLETELY unacceptable."

"There is absolutely no excuse for dragging this guy around the station naked,

Rob Sea wrote. "Basic human rights can't be ignored, even if the guy deserved to be treated like crap it doesn't mean that he should be. If cops start taking these kinds of liberties where will it stop?"

KevinBrown2009 said this story emphasizes "the importance of releasing police surveillance video."

"The media should go to court and request - under freedom of information - that ALL video recordings made inside the G20 detention centre be released to the public. Releasing these video's to public scrutiny would probably do more to bring cops to justice than holding an inquiry."

However, commenters urged people not to jump to conclusions until all the facts are known.

"Two sides to every story," Pascaloo said. "I'm reserving judgment until I hear from the officers."

canadiansense agreed. "It's funny how everyone is against the police not knowing what's going on. Its like people live in this bubble that the world is great and ... [no one] truly breaks the law or is a bad guy."

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