Toronto CEO Arrested For Conspiracy to Murder

Police have arrested Toronto magazine distributor Alex Petraitis on charges of conspiring to kill his wife, Kirsten.

He was picked up by police in a "high-risk takedown" along the quiet route to his cottage near Peterborough.

Based in Toronto, Mr. Petraitis had been the president of Canadian Mass Media Inc. and a principal in Metro News Ltd., both of which distribute magazines and books to Canadian retailers across the country.

"He [was] one of the power brokers in magazine distribution." said Bill Shields, editor of Masthead Magazine.

We're all very shocked by the whole thing," said a neighbour in Mr. Petraitis's Yorkville condominium. "They had a nice marriage," she said. "They were nice people."

Mr. Petraitis spoke briefly with a reporter from the Peterborough Examiner. "I'm mystified. . . . I'm shell-shocked," he said, denying any knowledge of a crime.

Paul Benjamin, of Benjamin News in Montreal, has taken over Mr. Petraitis's role as president of Canadian Mass Media Inc., a company started in 1994 by a conglomerate of Canadian magazine and book wholesalers.

"The executive committee felt it prudent to replace Alex as president of the organization," Mr. Benjamin said.

Officials at the North York offices of Metro News Ltd. and Canadian Mass Media Inc. would not comment beyond saying that "Alex has taken a leave of absence from the company."

Petraitis is represented by high-profile defence lawyer Eddie Greenspan.

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