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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zhukov's Son Faces Assault Charges

The son of Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov returned to London's Southwark Crown Court on Thursday to face charges of assault.

Pyotr Zhukov, 24, could face life in prison if convicted of beating a man whom The Times of London identified as Ben Ramsey, 25. Police and court officials declined to confirm the man's identity.

The Times reported Wednesday that Ramsey was trying to gate-crash a party last July when he was attacked by Pyotr Zhukov. Both work as investment bankers in London.

Deputy Prime Minister Zhukov could not be reached for comment on Thursday, but his assistant, Konstantin Voitsekhovich, told Interfax that the minister's only child had been involved in the incident "by chance."

"He tried to separate people after a fight had started," Voitsekhovich said.

The Times reported that a fight broke out after Artyom Dahko, a Latvian national who was hosting the party at his apartment in Whitechapel, East London, tried to persuade Ramsey and a friend to hand over the beer they had brought and to leave the party.

"Mr. Dahko, without any warning whatsoever, punched Mr. Ramsey on the forehead," prosecution lawyer Richard Milne told the court Tuesday.

After attempting to stop the fight and restrain Dahko, Zhukov began punching Ramsey and continued after Ramsey had stumbled to the floor, covered in blood, Milne said.

Dennis Virin, who was with Zhukov and Dahko at the time, jumped on Rasmey's back during the attack, Milne said. Virin has not been charged.

Dahko, 27, has admitted to unlawful wounding in the case and will be sentenced next week.

Zhukov pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors are confident that they have sufficient evidence to secure a conviction, said a Southwark Crown Court spokeswoman who declined to be identified.

If Zhukov is convicted of assault with the intent to cause bodily harm, he could face life in prison. If intent cannot be proven, the maximum sentence drops to five years.

A verdict is expected no later than Monday, the court spokeswoman said.

Police were called around 2 a.m. on July 29, a London Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said Thursday on condition of anonymity, in line with police policy.

"On arrival, officers found a man suffering injuries to his head and face," she said. "Three men were arrested nearby and subsequently charged."

Police called an ambulance, which took the victim to a nearby hospital where his injuries were described as not life threatening, the spokeswoman said.

The Times reported that Ramsey had suffered a crushed cheekbone, cuts on the back of his head, two cracked ribs, a swollen jaw and bruises to his arms, shoulder, chest and legs.

This is not the first time offspring of national leaders have made the headlines for the wrong reasons. The eldest son of Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov struck and killed a pedestrian while driving in southwest Moscow in 2005.

Alexander Ivanov, 28, was driving in his Volkswagen Bora on Ulitsa Lobachevskogo when he hit an elderly woman on a crosswalk.

Prosecutors found no grounds for charging Alexander Ivanov, maintaining that he had been driving under the speed limit. Witnesses said Ivanov was clearly speeding.