David Radler, Conrad Black's right-hand man, has been released on parole after serving less than one year of his 29-month jail sentence for fraud.
Mr. Radler received "accelerated" day parole last Friday from the National Parole board. The board said it was satisfied Mr. Radler was not likely to "commit an offence involving violence" before the expiration of his sentence. The report also said Mr. Radler did not meet the "Correctional Services of Canada's criteria for a psychological risk assessment" and it said that as a first-time offender, Mr. Radler was entitled to an accelerated parole review.
Mr. Radler helped Lord Black build a global newspaper empire under the Hollinger brand, but he turned on his former partner shortly after allegations of fraud surfaced at Chicago-based Hollinger International Inc. in 2003.
Mr. Radler pleaded guilty to one count of fraud in 2005 and agreed to testify against Lord Black and three other former Hollinger executives. Lord Black and the others were convicted last year.
Lord Black received a 6.5 year sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice. Two others, John Boultbee and Peter Atkinson, received two years for fraud and Mark Kipnis was sentenced to house arrest.
Mr. Radler received 29 months and began serving his term in a Pennsylvania prison last February. He was transferred to a Canadian jail in September.
In its decision, the board noted Mr. Radler's participation in the crime, saying he left a "trail of many victims."
The board said its review was limited to considering whether Mr. Radler was violent. "Many who have commented on your offence would argue that the financial devastation you caused to the countless victims would constitute a form of violence," the board said. "However, the board must apply the law in the spirit with which it was written."
Mr. Radler is not to have any contact with his co-accused and must report regularly to a parole officer.
"Your crime cycle is directly related to your greed and desire for financial gain; your parole supervisor must be able to monitor your financial affairs in order to manage this risk."