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Russian billionaire Lebedev charged with hooliganism over TV punch-up

The owner of the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers is in trouble after he punched an opponent on a television programme last month.

Image: Screengrab via YouTube.

RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE Alexander Lebedev has been charged with hooliganism offences after he punched a fellow billionaire on television last month.

The owner of the UK’s Independent and Evening Standard newspapers landed a punch on opponent Sergei Polonsky, a former property developer, during a television debate on the new global economic crisis last month.

The incident has led to an investigation by authorities which has determined that Lebedev “brought bodily harm” to Polonsky and he now faces charges which could carry up to two years in prison, the Guardian reports.

The two appeared on a pre-recorded programme last month in which Polonsky said he was sick and tied of discussing economic issues with tycoons, adding he would rather hit someone.

Lebvedev beat him to it however, landing one on Polonsky during a barrage of punches. Watch:

Lebedev later argued on his blog that he had no choice while Polonsky posted pictures of himself on his blog with a cut arm and torn trousers.

Russian president Vladimir Putin later waded in on the row, saying the incident amounted to “hooliganism”, according to The Telegraph.

Read more: Russian billionaire attacks opponent on TV >

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Hugh O'Connell

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