Conrad Black 'relaxed' about prison return

Conrad Black says he is "pretty relaxed" about his pending return to prison, while remaining insistent that he did not break the law.

No immediate plans to try and get back Canadian citizenship

Conrad Black is due to report to prison on Sept. 6. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Conrad Black says he is "pretty relaxed" about his pending return to prison, while remaining insistent that he did not break the law.

In a 45-minute interview with Matt Galloway of CBC Toronto Radio's Metro Morning recorded August  2nd from New York City, Black says: "I can see quite clearly, looming larger every day, the end of this horrible sequence of events."

Conrad Black uncut

Listen to Matt Galloway's full interview with Conrad Black

Convicted of obstruction of justice and fraud in 2007, Black served 29 months in the Coleman federal prison in Florida of his original 78-month sentence 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.

In June of this year, he was resentenced and ordered to serve 42 months. However, after getting credit for the time he has already served, Black will have to spend up to 13 months behind bars. He is slated to report back to prison on Sept. 6.

The new sentence could be reduced for good behaviour, and Black told CBC he expects to serve less than eight months behind bars.

Black called his return to prison a "temporary sacrifice."

"It’s not physically dangerous. You get visitors. You can use the phone. You can use the email.  Some of the people, many of the people, are quite interesting. They're all tolerably friendly. So I wouldn't want to overstate it. It’s no country club," he said.

"It’s quite Spartan, and you are subject to the authority of unskilled labour frequently masquerading as figures of much more natural or earned authority than they actually possess," he said, referring to prison guards and officials.

The interview with Black was recorded in advance of the launch of his next book, A Matter of Principle, on Sept. 15. He said he wrote the book, much of which was completed during his first stint in prison, to present his version of events.

"I tried to be fair, I tried to admit error by, you know, on my own part where I felt there was some, and there was some," he said. "The main point of [writing the book] it is to assault, in as violent and persuasive a manner as possible, this absolute fraud that I would ever, or did, break the law.

Black also talked about the possibility of eventually getting back the Canadian citizenship he renounced in 2001 in order to take a seat in the U.K.'s House of Lords.

"If the emotionalism subsides, and it's not going to embarrass anyone or be seen as something questionable, then of course I would seek my citizenship back and again be a dual citizen between Canada and the U.K. But if that's going to be a problem, then I just want the right to go there and spend part of the year there and remain what I am."