Alexander Lebedev set to fight charges of assault and 'hooliganism' which could see him face up to seven years in jail

Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev has described the charges of ‘hooliganism’ and assault by Russia’s Investigative Committee, which could see him face up to seven years in jail, as being politically motivated.

Lebedev, a partial owner of investigative Russian newspaper Novaya Gazete, and whose son Eygeny owns both The Independent and the London Evening Standard, was charged after he threw a punch at Russian property tycoon Sergei Polonsky during a televised debate.

Layer to Lebedev Genri Reznik told The Independent that the charges were ‘fabricated’ and described them as being motivated by ‘political revenge’.

He had been charged under Article 23 of the Russian Criminal code for ‘hooliganism’, the same as the punk rock group Pussy Riot.

In a statement, Eygeny said of the charges; "This is an extraordinarily disproportionate response to what happened in a TV studio many months ago. "My father has been targeted because of his determination to fight against corruption and to be a crusader for democracy in a country where this has not always been welcome."

Alexander Lebedev has insisted that he will stay in Russia to fight the charges.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.