MOSCOW – A Moscow court says a Russian tycoon who has financed a newspaper critical of the Kremlin has been found guilty of assault after punching a talk show guest and sentenced to 150 hours of community service.
Alexander Lebedev, who owns fierce Kremlin critic Novaya Gazeta, punched property developer Sergei Polonsky during a TV talk show in 2011. Lebedev dismissed the criminal case as politically motivated. Prosecutors dropped hooliganism charges against the tycoon that could have landed him in jail.
Lebedev, estimated to be worth $1.1 billion, made his money in banking. He has financed the British papers the Independent and the Evening Standard. The tycoon has said he was being forced to sell his assets because of pressure by Russia's Federal Security Service, the main KGB successor agency.