U.S. Immigration to take Black upon release

The Federal Correction Institute in Miami is seen Thursday, May 3, 2012 in Miami.Former media baron Conrad Black is expected to be released Friday after serving his sentence for obstruction of justice.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MIAMI - Officials say Conrad Black will be taken into custody by U.S. immigration officials as soon as he's released from a prison in Miami, which could happen as early as Friday.

Nestor Yglesias, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Thursday the former media baron will be picked up from the low-security jail.

"He will not be released onto the street," Yglesias said. "There is an ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detainer on him."

Yglesias said privacy laws prevented him from sharing more information about the Montreal-born Black's case.

Black, who famously renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 in order to accept a British peerage, has been granted a one-year temporary resident permit by Canada's Citizenship and Immigration department.

He's not permitted to stay in the U.S. because he does not hold American citizenship.

Yglesias said individuals released to the immigration agency are eligible for removal from the U.S. Former inmates are sometimes held at a detention centre before being deported, he added.

The one-year permit granted Black is valid from early this month until May next year. Black reportedly paid a $200 fee on March 20 in order to apply for the permit.

Black's controversial business dealings while at the helm of Hollinger's global media empire netted him fraud and obstruction of justice convictions in 2007 and saw him sentenced to 3 1/2 years in a Florida prison.

Black, 67, has stated in previous media interviews that he hopes to return to Toronto, where he and wife Barbara Amiel still own a home.

His memoir, "A Matter of Principle,'' is one of three nominees for the 2012 National Business Book Award, and media reports have suggested he hopes to be in attendance when the winner is announced May 28.