Wealthy Russian Oligarch And Putin Critic Charged With 'Hooliganism'

lebedev

Photo: Russia!

Alexander Lebedev, one of Russia’s wealthiest men and an international media mogul, has been charged with “hooliganism” and “battery”, according to Interfax.If found guilty he could face a 7 year jail term.

The news comes just one day after Lebedev told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit that he was being targeted by Vladimir Putin who suspects him of funding the Russian opposition.

“He thinks it is true that I have been funding [the opposition], so I was violating rule No. 1 — if you have money you should not interfere [in politics],” he said, according to the Moscow Times.

Lebedev’s charges stem from an incident last year when Lebedev was filmed punching fellow oligarch and property developer Sergei Polonsky following an argument during a chat show on the NTV channel. After that incident, Putin said that Lebedev’s actions amounted to “hooliganism”.

Lebedev, a former KGB agent currently said to be worth $1.1 billion, owns a quarter of Aeroflot and a number of media properties around the world — including Russia’s Novaya Gazeta and the London-based Independent.

Lebedev’s son, Evgeny Lebedev, has taken to Twitter to criticise the case:

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