Jail Terms for Expat Beating

Banker Matvei Urin and seven other defendants were jailed Friday for beating a Dutch executive linked by bloggers to a daughter of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

A Moscow district court gave Urin, his driver and bodyguards prison terms of two to four years on charges of hooliganism, battery and intentional property damage, the Prosecutor General's Office said on its web site, without elaborating.

It was unclear whether the defendants planned to appeal.

Urin, 34, and his retinue chased a BMW sedan that did not give way to his two-car cortege on Rublyovskoye Shosse, even though the BMW had priority on the road, in November, the prosecutor's office said.

The suspects blocked the sedan, dragged the driver out and beat him, inflicting minor injuries, and damaged the BMW, prosecutors said.

The statement did not identify the victim, but media reports have said it was Jorrit Ioole Faassen, 30, a Dutch citizen who worked for a Gazprom affiliate. Bloggers say he may also be a boyfriend or fiancee of Putin's daughter Yekaterina, although the reports have not cited any sources and remain unconfirmed.

Speculation about a romantic link to Putin's daughter was fueled by the swift and hard crackdown on Urin, who was detained on the day of the incident along with the other suspects. Moscow police chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev personally participated in the operation, according to Vedomosti.

Five banks controlled by Urin have had their licenses revoked since November and faced fraud accusations.

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