updated 8/10/2009 5:35:54 PM ET 2009-08-10T21:35:54

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has turned down former newspaper mogul Conrad Black's request to be freed from a Florida prison while he appeals his fraud conviction to the high court.

Stevens rejected Black's plea Monday without comment. Black, a member of the British House of Lords, has served nearly 17 months of a 6 1/2-year prison term at a federal prison.

In May the court agreed to consider overturning Black's conviction in July 2007 on charges he siphoned off millions of dollars belonging to Hollinger International when he was chief executive of the media company. The case will be argued later this year.

Prosecutors opposed granting Black bail, arguing that his conviction for obstructing justice would be unaffected by the court's decision. Black's lawyers have said that conviction would be thrown out if the fraud conviction also were overturned.

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