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Lebedev Sentenced For Punching Rival

Aleksandr Lebedev

Aleksandr Lebedev

A court in Moscow has sentenced prominent Russian media magnate Aleksandr Lebedev to 150 hours of community work for punching a rival on a TV talk show.

The judge convicted Lebedev, 53, of battery.

Lebedev owns the British newspapers "The Independent" and "London Evening Standard."

He has been on trial since early May over the 2011 incident, when he hit property developer Sergei Polonsky.

The initial charge of hooliganism was dropped during the trial.

Lebedev, who pleaded not guilty, insists his case is retaliation by the authorities for his frequent public criticisms of the government.

Lebedev's lawyer, Genri Reznik, said he will appeal the sentence.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax