Friday, March 23, 2007

Mark Steyn Blogs the Black Trial

Mark Steyn Blogs United States v. Conrad Black. An excerpt:
“And here’s the best part,” said prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer, working up to the killer line of his peroration. “It’s tax-free in Canada.”

Who knew? At this trial, the phrase “legal in Canada” has been imbued with such ominous undertones, Patrick Fitzgerald’s junior attorneys might as well get out their instruments and start playing the theme from Jaws. Overnight, the land of confiscatory taxation has been transformed into the northernmost Cayman Island.

Benito Romano, counsel for Conrad Black’s co-defendant Peter Atkinson, attempted to explain to the jury this wild lawless terrain across the 49th parallel. “They speak the same language. They play baseball,” he said. “But they have their own laws.” The prosecution looked for one moment as if they were about to rise en masse and yell, “Objection, your honour!” But the point was allowed to stand. Saudi Arabia has sharia and Canada has tax-free non-compete agreements. Just one of those freaky weird cultural differences. But by the laws of Noncompetistan, what Mr Atkinson did was perfectly legal.
Substantive? Not really. Insightful? Not really. Entertaining? Yes. If only all legal commentary was like this.