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Russian Prosecutors Drop Jail Threat Against Tycoon Lebedev

Aleksandr Lebedev
Prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to impose restrictions on the movements of prominent Russian media magnate Aleksandr Lebedev for punching a rival on a TV talk show.

The June 28 request by prosecutors did not include jail time for Lebedev, who owns the British newspapers "The Independent" and "London Evening Standard."

Lebedev, 53, has been on trial since early May over the 2011 incident, when he hit property developer Sergei Polonsky.

The prosecution said the billionaire should be found guilty of political hatred.

They requested that he be barred from moving from his house or changing jobs without permission and not allowed to participate in or organize public events for a year and nine months.

Lebedev says his case is retaliation by authorities for his frequent public criticisms of the government.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and Reuters