Business

Donald Trump to testify on Conrad Black's behalf: report

Celebrity businessman Donald Trump will testify in Conrad Black's defence, the New York Post reported Friday.

Celebrity businessman Donald Trump will testifyinConrad Black's defence, the New York Post reported Friday.

The Post, citing unnamed sources, said Trump would fly into Chicago, where Black'strial is taking place,on Monday.

The paper said Black's lawyers recently served the real estate mogul with a subpoena.

A lawyer for one of the defendants in the case refused to confirm the Post story but suggested journalists would find Monday's events in court interesting. "I would be there early," the lawyer told CBC News.

Trump's name came up at the trial last week. Black had asked Trump to speak in support of him at ameeting of Hollinger International shareholders in 2003 — a time when Black was facing intense criticism from some minority shareholders aboutfees paid to Black and other executives.

"I fully support the company and its management, and in particular I have great respect for Conrad Black and David Radler," Trump told the meeting. The comments were played to thejury last week.

Trump and Black had a business relationship. Trump had boughtthe Chicago Sun-Times building from Hollinger for a land-development project.

Trump had also attended the lavish 60th birthday party Black threw in New York for his wife, Barbara Amiel Black, in 2000.The party cost $62,000 US. Two-thirds of the cost was paid by Hollinger — something the prosecution in the Black trial has called an abuse.

The Post said Trump will testify that the party "felt like a business event rather than simply a personal celebration," according to the paper.

Lawyers for Conrad Black launched their defence of their client on Thursday, the day after the prosecution called its final witness. The case could go to the jury in a couple of weeks.

Black and three co-defendants are accused of taking part in an alleged plot to defraud Hollinger International shareholders of millions of dollars by illegally diverting payments from the sale of Hollinger newspapers. All have pleaded not guilty.