Conrad Black Trial: Partner Radler's Credibility Under Fire
May 10, 2007. On May 9, David Radler,64, was cross-examined aggressively by Black's Lawyer Eddie Greenspan. Radler is providing evidence against his former partner and friend, Conrad Black. Today, the questioning was less severe.
In cross-examining Radler, the questioning appears to be based on a two-pronged strategy:
First, to demonstrate that Radler has consistently lied in the past and his testimony lacks credibility. On May 9, Greenspan had asked Radler, "How many of these 24 people would you say that you lied to?" Replied Radler, "I lied. I did tell lies."
On his way into court, Black lawyer Genson predicted that Greenspan "will probably destroy" Radler's credibility. When told of this comment, Greenspan said, "I hope he's right".
Second, that Radler acted on this own and was the author of any schemes that might be illegal. Today, Greenspan asked Radler: "Your not Conrad's right hand man are you?"
Some of the exchanges from May 10, are:
"You lied to save yourself because to you Mr. Radler is No. 1," Greenspan suggested to Radler when pointing out discrepancies in Radler's testimony and statements he made before a special committee of Hollinger International Inc. in 2003. Radler first agreed "To me Mr. Radler is No. 1" and then went on to refute Greenspan's assertion that he was "doing the same thing here."
Greenspan said that during 13 hours of discussions with the special committee, Radler never once said Black was behind the alleged non-compete scheme, never suggested any wrongdoing, never said the payments now under question to executives were improper, nor did he say the non-compete payments (see below) were not required by the buyers of Hollinger assets - the very points Radler is now making in his testimony.
"You never said you did anything wrong and you never said anybody else did anything wrong, but now you're telling this jury that those 13 hours have lies in them."
"You lied to the lawyers from the special committee?" asked Greenspan. "I was not forthcoming to the lawyers from the special committee" replied Radler.
"Tell me, Mr. Radler, at what point prior to this interview did you decide that you would lie, or not be forthcoming, as you put it?" asked Greenspan . "I just went to the interview." The said Rader in a raised voice, "Sir, there were some questions to which I gave answers that were not totally truthful, i.e., I lied."
Greenspan: "Did you stutter when you lied?" Radler: "Sir, I said I lied."
Greenspan: "Was there a pause when you lied?" Radler: "Sir, I told lies.".
Greenspan: "When you lie, do you look a certain way?" Radler: "That's for others to determine. I can't view myself."
Greenspan: "So you might be lying now?" Radler: "False. I am not lying."
Greenspan presented a letter sent to the committee on behalf of Radler in 2003 which said "Mr. Radler has no reason to believe that any of the payments to Hollinger International were unfair or unreasonable." the letter went on to say that Radler would never have taken part in any transaction that wasn't fair to shareholders.
Radler admitted Radler the letter contained "some lies."
Some of the exchanges from Wednesday, May 10, were:
"You swore to tell the truth," Eddie Greenspan confronted Radler. "Do you mean the partial truth?"
"You know full well that if you come off your script (provided by the prosecution), you know the government will tell the judge that you're a liar" said Greenspan. "You're putting words in my mouth. I have no script" replied Radler .
"You lied to your own lawyers, right?" asked Greenspan. "Well, I wasn't totally truthful at the beginning," Radler responded.
"Do you accept the fact that not totally truthful means that you're a liar?" inquired Greenspan. "Yes" Radler replied.
Radler on the Non-Compete Payments
Radler testified that he knew it was wrong to receive non-compete payments from buyers of Hollinger International Inc.'s newspaper assets.
He said that non-compete fees received by him, Conrad Black and the other co-accused, Peter Atkinson and Jack Boultbee — payments made in exchange for promises they wouldn't compete with the buyers — were not requested by the buyers. from several U.S. deals that he said were routed to him, Black and others. He testified that he knew it was wrong to take money from buyers of Hollinger International's newspaper assets.
Radler said he never told the Hollinger board exactly where these non-compete payments were going because of his feeling that he had no right to them.
However, Radler could have inadvertently suggested that he was the author of these schemes.
In a couple of deals, when Radler found that no money had been set aside for non-compete payments, he suggested how some unallocated purchase amounts could be designated as non-compete fees. "I told Mr. Black that there was $600,000 left … that could be allocated and he agreed." Earlier he had said, "I knew that the process of creating these non-competes was wrong."