Radler pays up before Black trial


TORONTO -- Former Hollinger International boss David Radler on Sunday agreed to pay $63.4 million to settle a lawsuit with the Sun-Times Media Group, just hours before testimony started in the Chicago trial of fallen Canadian media mogul Conrad Black.

Vancouver-based Radler, who settled all claims over backdated stock options with Sun-Times, formerly known as Hollinger International, will be the star witness for U.S. prosecutors in the fraud and racketeering trial of Black, which got under way Monday.

Black and three other former executives at Hollinger International are facing U.S. federal charges that they illegally pocketed about $80 million in noncompete payments that were diverted away from company shareholders.

Radler, Black's longtime lieutenant, paid $28.7 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday to settle allegations of wrongdoing in the downfall of Hollinger International, the newspaper group Radler and Black built and ran together.

The roughly $90 million in SEC and Hollinger International settlements this past weekend are seen as attempts by U.S. authorities to build Radler's credibility before he testifies against his former business partner in return for receiving a lenient jail sentence of 29 months, likely to be served in Canada.