LONDON - Former media magnate Conrad Black has given a combative TV interview on the BBC in which he suggested he could resume his seat in the House of Lords.
In an interview with testy exchanges, Black termed the BBC host a fool and talked about "being able to endure a discussion like this without getting up and smashing your face in."
The former media magnate told BBC Two's "Newsnight" the U.S. charges that sent him to prison for close to three years were "rubbish" and that he had been "persecuted half to death."
Black, who returned to his Toronto home this year after being released from a Florida prison, spoke critically of the U.S. justice system during the interview and suggested he plans to keep his seat in Britain's House of Lords.
But the chat with Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman soon became heated when the host referred to Black as a convicted criminal and Black responded by calling Paxman a "priggish, gullible, British fool."
Despite the prickly interview, Black is scheduled to appear on the BBC One comedy show "Have I Got News for You" on Friday.
Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to become a member of the British House of Lords but was allowed to return to Canada on a temporary resident permit.
He was convicted in the United States of fraud and obstruction of justice while he was head of media giant Hollinger International.
He served 37 months of a 42-month sentence, but has contended he was victimized by the American justice system, and that Canadian courts would never have convicted him.
During the BBC interview, Black described the U.S. prosecution of him as "a smear job from A to Z."
"The whole system is a fraudulent, fascistic conveyer belt of the corrupt prison system," a combative Black said.
He also appeared irritated when Paxman began quizzing Black about his wife, Barbara Amiel, whom Paxman described as "extravagant."
"After seven years, my first morning back in Britain, am I to be subjected to this?" replied Black, who said his wife is a "magnificent" woman who visited him in prison every single week.
Asked if he now expects to retain his seat in the House of Lords, Black replied: "Why not?" adding there was no prohibition against those with convictions.
After Paxman pressed him about the convictions, Black responded:
"I am proud of having gone through the terribly difficult process of being falsely charged, falsely convicted and ultimately almost completely vindicated without losing my mind, becoming irrational, ceasing to be a penitent and reasonable person and actually being able to endure a discussion like this without getting up and smashing your face in, which is what most people would do if they had been through what I have been."
"Well, you go ahead." Paxman said.
"No, I don't believe in violence," Black replied.