Miami: Deposed media mogul Conrad Black was released from a US prison on Friday after serving some three years behind bars for fraud and obstruction of justice, and was set to be swiftly deported.

"Mr Conrad Black has been released this morning from FCC Coleman in Florida," Chris Burke, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said.

Canadian-born Black, 67, holds a British passport after being made a British lord in 2001, but there has been furor in Canada at the news that he will be allowed to return even though he gave up his Canadian citizenship.

It has been an ignominious fall for the flamboyant newspaper baron, who once counted politicians and pop stars among his entourage, and ran the world's third largest media empire.

After earlier spending nearly two and a half years in prison, Black was sentenced in June 2011 to a further 13 months in prison.

He was released early after eight months for good behavior and time served, but then handed straight to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

"He was released to us this morning by the authorities of Federal Bureau of Prisons in Miami and he is in ICE custody now. I can't say where, that's all I can say for now, we'll have more details later on Friday," said ICE spokesman Nestor Yglesias.

It was not immediately clear where Black might go, but he is known to have a house in Toronto, and his wife and three children are reportedly Canadian citizens.

Canada's immigration minister's spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that Black has been granted a temporary resident permit, which would allow him to live in Canada for one year. Officials refused all other comment, citing privacy laws.

Black's flagship titles included Britain's Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times, Canada's National Post, the Jerusalem Post and the Sydney Morning Herald grouped under the Hollinger International Corporation.

At its peak the group had revenues in the billions of dollars and global daily circulation in the millions.


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