Media mogul Alexander Lebedev expects to be jailed in Russia over a punch-up live on TV last year, his son Evgeny has said today.
Evgeny Lebedev said he feared his father could be killed in jail because of his anti-corruption campaign.
Alexander Lebedev owns two British newspapers and holds a major stake in Russia’s opposition Novaya Gazeta.
He is a critic of President Vladimir Putin. Moscow denies it is behind the criminal case against him.
If convicted for knocking another businessman off his chair during a heated TV debate in September 2011, Alexander Lebedev faces up to seven years in prison.
He is the owner of Britain’s Evening Standard and the Independent newspapers.
In September, Alexander Lebedev was charged with hooliganism and assault “motivated by political, ideological, racial, national or religious hatred, or hatred of a particular social group” – the same offense that two members of Russia’s Pussy Riot punk group were jailed for earlier this year.
The 52-year-old former KGB agent – whose net worth was recently reported by Forbes magazine to be $1.1 billion – has reportedly signed an undertaking not to leave Russia.