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Elton John World News: Celebrities Are Trying to Prevent a Media Tycoon From Being Sentenced

Celebrities Are Trying to Prevent a Media Tycoon From Being Sentenced-- Posted by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday 15 April 2013 @ 16:20 - GMT

Alexander Lebedev hit billionaire property developer Sergei Polonsky during a talk show in 2011 and he has been banned from leaving Russia ahead of his upcoming trial on hooliganism charges.

He faces up to five years behind bars if convicted, but a slew of stars have spoken out in a bid to have Lebedev spared jail, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Keira Knightley has written a character reference for Lebedev and warned his charity work will be derailed if he goes to prison.

She writes, "I respect Alexander's work in the UK and abroad."

Elton adds, "I have known Alexander for 15 years. He is a decent, generous, kind and thoughtful person and a man of integrity."

Kevin Spacey and Hugh Grant have previously supported the campaign to keep Lebedev out of jail. Friends believe the real reason for the prosecution is Alexander's ownership of investigative newpaper, Novaya Gazeta, which exposes government corruption.

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