MOSCOW, October 4 - RAPSI. Investigators initiated a criminal case on hooliganism charges against billionaire Alexander Lebedev, who is suspected of inflicting bodily harm to ex-real estate baron Sergei Polonsky, the Investigative Committee reported on Tuesday.

Lebedev was previously a KGB agent stationed in London. He owns a string of newspapers, including The Independent and London Evening Standard. He also owns the National Reserve Bank, a leading Russian bank.

Polonsky was ranked Russias 40th richest man with a fortune of $4.35 billion by Forbes magazine in 2008. Polonsky used to head Mirax Group, a large property developer that went bankrupt during the economic downturn.

Lebedev punched Polonsky in the face during a debate on the NTV television channel on September 16.Polonsky later demonstrated a bruise on his hand and his torn jeans.

Lebedev maintains that he only pushed his opponent.