Alexander Lebedev set to avoid jail sentence after hooliganism charges dropped

Russian media mogul Alexander Lebedev looks set to avoid a prison sentence after prosecutors asked the judge to drop charges of hooliganism, according to reports.

Levedev, whose family owns the Evening Standard and Independent titles, was facing a sentence of up to five years in prison in Russia if found guilty.

But according to reports, prosecutors have asked that he be found guilty only of battery and have his freedom “restricted” for 21 months.

A judge is due to hand down his notice tomorrow (Tuesday).

Commenting on the development, son Evgeny Lebedev wrote in the Evening Standard that it was “rather obvious” his father’s punch was not politically motivated.

He wrote: “In Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s, at least they made an effort to make the proceedings appear fair and honest (of course, subsequently it transpired that they weren’t).

“But now, with the complete lack of press reportage, the lack of diligence on the part of a prosecution, the procession of eyewitnesses who weren’t actually there, for those supporters of my father who’ve been looking in from the outside, Russian justice must be a curious spectacle to take in.

“In any case, whatever the sentence Dad now faces, he and I are extremely grateful for all the support we have received, from London and all around the world.”

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