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Khodorkovsky Leaves Russia After Being Released from Jail
20.12.2013 17:56
Khodorkovsky Leaves Russia After Being Released from Jail

On Friday, December 20, jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was released after Russian president signed a decree pardoning him. The most famous prisoner in Russia left the country to visit his sick mother in Germany.

      Earlier on Friday the Kremlin said  that a pardon for Khodorkovsky granted on humanitarian grounds had been signed by Putin and would come into force straightaway. Russian prison authorities said in a statement that the decree meant Khodorkovsky had been freed from further prison punishment, and was likely to be released immediately.

      Khodorkovsky has been serving out his jail term, which was due to end in August 2014, in a penal colony by the town of Segezha in the northern region of Karelia, near Russia's border with Finland. After being informed about his mother's sudden sickness, he decided to appeal for pardon on Thursday, December 19.

      Marina Khodorkovskaya, the former prisoner's mother, said that she had no idea about her son's plans. “I didn’t expect it, yesterday was just a day of shock,” she added.

      The news came as a surprise for many of Khodorkovsky supporters, including Khodorkovsky's lawyers, who appeared to be stunned Putin’s quick agreement.

      Khodorkovsky, 50, has spent more than a decade in jail following his arrest on a Siberian runway in 2003 and two subsequent convictions for fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement. He still has many supporters who are certain all the convictions were based on political reasons, as the Kremlin's answer to Khodorkovsky's intention to go for the career of an oppositional politician. The jailed tycoon himself always maintained his innocence.

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Mikhail Khodorkovsky Russian opposition Russian people Russian businessmen  

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