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Billionaire Kremlin Critic Charged With Hooliganism

Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev (file photo)
Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev (file photo)
Russian tycoon and Kremlin critic Aleksandr Lebedev has been charged with "hooliganism" and "assault" for throwing a punch at another businessman during a televised talk show.

If he is found guilty, Lebedev could face up to five years in prison.

Lebedev, a billionaire banker and media magnate, claims he is being targeted by President Vladimir Putin for political reasons.

Investigators say Lebedev caused bodily harm to Sergei Polonsky, head of the Mirax Group, during the talk show on September 16, 2011.

A criminal case was opened by Russian investigators shortly after the incident.

Polonsky has filed a lawsuit against Lebedev in a London court over the same incident, demanding an apology and compensation.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Reuters