- Independent and Evening Standard owner targeted by Russian authorities
- His national Reserve Bank was searched and documents were removed
- Friends of Lebedev fear he is being targeted for political reasons
Media tycoon Alexander Lebedev - the pro-Western owner of The Independent and London Evening Standard newspapers - has been targeted by Russian authorities again, with his bank accused of evading at least Ј6.2 million in tax.
Last week his National Reserve Bank was searched and documents removed by armed police and officials from the powerful Russian Investigative Committee, which is headed by Alexander Bastrykin, a former classmate of President Vladimir Putin.
Lebedev, 54, has faced previous legal problems and friends fear that he is being targeted for political reasons as a backer of an independent investigative newspaper in Russia. Media tycoon Alexander Lebedev has been targeted by Russian authorities again, with his bank accused of evading at least Ј6.2 million in tax (file picture)
According to Lebedev, the whole sum in dispute has been paid, and he says this makes the raid even more likely to be revenge or a personal attack by the authorities.
Apparently, they decided to increase the pressure,' Lebedev said, complaining the search was conducted without a court order.