Jury wanted to convict Conrad Black on all charges: juror
One of the jurorswho took part in the Conrad Black trial says most of the jury was ready to convict him of every charge until she dug up a piece of evidence and argued for the former media baron's innocence.
In an exclusive interview with CBC News, juror Jean Kelly said after close to four months of testimony at Black's trial, nine of the 12 jurors were convinced Black was guilty of all 13 charges against him.
On July 13, the former head of the Hollinger newspaper empire was convicted of obstruction of justice and three counts of fraud, but was acquitted on nine other charges.
Kelly, a postal worker and single mom from suburban Chicago, said shedidn't agree with her fellow jurors and spoke up.
"I don't think for a minute what he did was right. I just don't think that criminal intent was there," she said.
In Canada, jurors are legallyrequired to maintain confidentiality following a trial, a practice not followed in the U.S.
Kelly said while she found Black arrogant and condescending, she couldn't convict him on all charges.
"I felt very strongly on my convictions. I would have went for mistrial before I would have caved in on my beliefs," she said.
Kelly said she started digging through boxes of evidence in an attempt to support her belief.
Fellow jurors angry: Kelly
As days wore on, Kelly said the jurors, who deliberated for 16 days, were furious at her and two other jurors for holding out reaching a unanimous verdict.
Kelly said she was floored by their angry reaction to her belief.
"I guess nobody likes being attacked for the way you think or believe. It's not like anybody was trying to tell you [that] you were wrong but ... you almost go on the defensive when they do that to you, I guess."
Kelly said she found the evidence she was looking for in the footnotes of a document.
The evidence was never presented by Black's own lawyers, she said.
After Kelly made her case, the jurors changed their position from an original vote to convict on all charges to guilty on four charges.
Black who will be sentenced on Nov. 30, had to surrender his British passport and was ordered to remain in Chicago or at his home in Florida.
The prosecutionhas saidthat a prison term of at least 15 years would be appropriate for the former media baron.
In August, Black, 62,asked the judge to throw out the July verdict and has requested a new trial "taking into account the credibility of witnesses."
The U.S. government — with star prosecution witness and former Black chief lieutenant David Radler — alleged Black, 62, devised a scheme to improperly divert $60 million US to himself, Radler, and three co-defendants — Mark Kipnis, Jack Boultbee, and Peter Atkinson — largely through non-compete payments in the sale of hundreds of Hollinger-owned U.S. and Canadian community newspapers.