A U.S. judge yesterday released former media baron Conrad Black from prison on $2 million bond, while she decides whether to throw out his 2007 conviction for defrauding shareholders.


Judge Amy St. Eve of the U.S. District Court set Black, 65, free but restricted him to the continental United States for the time being. Black left the Coleman Federal Prison in central Florida yesterday afternoon, without being spotted by waiting reporters but his lawyer said he was heading to his Palm Beach house to pick up some belongings.


The Canadian-born Black, who once led the world's third-largest newspaper publisher, with titles including London’s Daily Telegraph, Canada’s National Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, entered a Florida prison in March 2008.


A jury convicted him of three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice in a scheme that swindled now defunct media holding company Hollinger International Inc. out of $6.1 million.