Zhirinovsky Fined $1,200 for Debate Tirade

The Nikulinsky District Court on Monday ordered Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky to pay 30,000 rubles ($1,200) in damages to a political opponent he verbally and physically assaulted during a televised political debate.

In the Feb. 20 live presidential debate on the Zvezda network, Zhirinovsky called Nikolai Gotsa, a representative for the Democratic Party, an "idiot," a "schizoid," a "sick man" and a "crook."

Notorious for his quick temper, Zhirinovsky also physically attacked Gotsa, striking him several times and ordering his bodyguards to "take him out and shoot him."

Gotsa was representing Democratic Party leader and presidential candidate Andrei Bogdanov at the time.

The Democratic Party demanded that the Central Elections Commission disqualify Zhirinovsky from the race but to no avail. Gotsa then filed a lawsuit, demanding 1 million rubles ($40,000) in damages from Zhirinovsky.

Zhirinovsky's lawyer, Sergei Belyak, told Interfax on Monday that his client was satisfied with the ruling.

Neither Belyak nor Zhirinovsky were present at any of the court proceedings, because they did not want to "give any PR to Gotsa," Belyak said.

Bogdanov captured 1.3 percent in the March 2 presidential election, while Zhirinovsky garnered 9.4 percent of the vote.