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Alexander Lebedev may face hooliganism charge

Wednesday 05 October 2011 00:00 BST

Russian investigators have opened a criminal file on the billionaire Alexander Lebedev following an altercation in which he punched a fellow guest during a television debate.

Prosecutors in Moscow said Mr Lebedev, who is the financial backer of The Independent, could face charges of hooliganism after he knocked real estate magnate Sergei Polonsky from his chair during a chat show on the NTV channel.

Mr Lebedev said after the incident that he had acted in self-defence. The Moscow Investigations Committee said a preliminary investigation found that Mr Lebedev had inflicted "bodily harm" on Mr Polonsky, who has already said he is considering civil action for damages.

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