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Billionaire brawl: Police open case over TV assault

Published time: October 04, 2011 12:26
Edited time: September 26, 2012 19:52
Businessman Aleksandr Lebedev (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

Businessman Aleksandr Lebedev (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

Police have opened a criminal case against a Russian tycoon who is accused of hooliganism during a talk show aired on Russian TV. Aleksandr Lebedev landed a left hook on fellow billionaire Sergey Polonsky following a heated debate.

­Lebedev also faces accusations of causing bodily harm to real estate developer Polonsky. The two super-rich businessmen came to blows after a difference of opinion on the global financial crisis ended up in a fist-fight.

Aleksandr Lebedev, the owner of two British newspapers, punched Sergey Polonsky during the course of a pre-recorded TV discussion program on one of Russia's main channels. The show was aired later on September 16th.

The owner of The Independent and London Evening Standard and co-owner of Russia’s Novaya Gazeta said he was defending himself, claiming he thought he was going to be attacked first.

He maintained that Polonsky, a real estate developer, had been overly aggressive during the discussion.

Viewers clearly heard Polonsky saying he wanted to land a blow on Lebedev moments before he himself was assaulted.

The brawl has been denounced by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who called the incident “hooliganism”.