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Donald Trump pardons former Canadian newspaper publisher Conrad Black

"Lord Black's case has attracted broad support from many high-profile individuals who have vigorously vouched for his exceptional character" the White House said.

In a statement, the White House said: "In 2007, prosecutors alleged that Lord Black had committed several acts of mail fraud and obstruction".

Lord Black, born in Montreal, Canada, was the former head of Hollinger International, which once owned the Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, Jerusalem Post and hundreds of community papers in the United States and Canada. He could defend himself against charges of public corruption and risk decades in prison, or he could plead guilty and accept a 33-month sentence.

A statement from the White House on Wednesday said Black has made "tremendous contributions to business, as well as to political and historical thought".

His downfall came in 2007 when jurors in Chicago found him and other Hollinger International executives swindled shareholders out of more than six million dollars (then worth around £3 million) of their money.

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The office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment.

Black, who was born Canadian - though he holds British citizenship and is a British peer - was deported to Canada after being released in 2012.

He remains banned by the Ontario Securities Commission from acting as a corporate director or officer of a public company in Ontario. The statement also noted that Black is "the author of several notable biographies", but didn't mention the glowing book Black published about Trump previous year. He was also removed from the Order of Canada.

The White House said Trump offered clemency to Patrick Nolan, a former Republican legislator who allied with Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, on prison revisions a year ago, and to Lord Conrad M. Black of Crossharbour, a Canadian-born former newspaper publisher who authored a book titled "Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other". "He said that there would be some controversy, "but you can handle that better than anyone".

Lord Black wrote that Mr Trump told him he was granting clemency because his conviction was an "unjust verdict".



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