Auditor: No surprise at payments made to Conrad Black
Former head of KPMG Hollinger audit grilled in trial
Patrick Ryan, the auditor who headed the Hollinger account at KPMG,
testified at the lack of surprise shown by the head of Hollinger
International audit committee when he was told that
Conrad Black and other
top executives made $15m (£7.5m) on a series of company asset sales.
When asked by defense attorney Ronald S. Safer if
governor James R. Thompson, the then Hollinger audit committee chairman,
‘fell of his chair’ when he was told of the payments to Black and others, Ryan
said he did not and had ‘remained upright’.
Safer was hoping to convince jurors that the head of the watchdog committee
already was well aware of the payments, which prosecutors claim Black and other
executives slipped past the newspaper company’s board of directors.