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Conrad Black hearing with Ontario Securities Commission to go ahead

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TORONTO - A proceeding by the Ontario Securities Commission to have Conrad Black banned from participating in the province's capital markets will go ahead, despite an attempt by his lawyer to have it stopped.

However, the OSC says it will take "a practical approach" by narrowing the scope of evidence allowed to ensure time isn't spent re-arguing Black's U.S. criminal trial.

The regulator alleges that directors and officers of Hollinger Inc. and Hollinger International engaged in "a scheme'' to line their pockets with company proceeds through a system of non-competition payments.

The OSC wants to determine whether the former newspaper baron, and one other former executive, should be banned from trading securities or becoming a director of public companies.

Black had sought to have the proceedings dismissed and argued that a temporary order, which has been in place for years, already bars him from being a registrant or a director or officer of a reporting issuer in Ontario.

The temporary order would continue to be in effect until Black makes a request to have it lifted, or the commission decides to remove the restrictions.

Of the many charges levelled against him by the U.S. Justice Department, Black was eventually only convicted of one count of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.

He served 37 months of a 42-month sentence in a Florida prison, and was fined US$125,000.

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