Tycoon Lebedev charged with "hooliganism" in Russia
26.09.12 19:53 By News Dept.
Sergey Polonskiy is a real-estate tycoon in Russia Photo: twitter.com/polonium_194
Russian media tycoon Alexander Lebedev has been charged by the Investigative Committee
Lebedev, 52, was charged over an incident which happened on September 16, 2011 when he punched rival businessman Sergey polonskiy during the political show "NTVshniki" on live TV. They were debating the financial crisis in Russia and started arguing, when Lebedev suddenly stood up and attacked Polonskiy who fell from his chair onto the floor.
In the indictment, the IC said that "while participating in a TV program, Lebedev who had different political views than his debate rival Sergey Polonskiy, punched him in the face."
"This charge is so far-fetched," said Lebedev's lawyer Henry Reznik commenting on the IC decision. "I guess it was made to intimidate Lebedev and to force him leave the country. It is also moral pressure, of course. Corrupt people want Lebedev to quit his political and social activities. This is such a standard scheme to charge a person with a heavier articles than he actually committed," Reznik added.
The article "hooliganism" requires either from 120 to 180 hours of community service, jail from four to six months, or limitation of freedom up to two years.
In August Alexander Lebedev, who owns the pro-opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta and some other businesses in Russia, told Gazeta.ru that he was going to sell his businesses in Russia as he feared political persecution.
"I do not have any other choice. There is a whole campaign against me. I'm not saying its the 'Kremlin,' I mean officers of special agencies," Lebedev said.
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