Published On: Sat, Dec 21st, 2013

Mikhail Khodorkovsky Released From Prison And Reunites With His Family In Berlin

President Putin made good on his promise to release Khodorkovsky and in surprisingly quick time.

600px-M.B.Khodorkovsky

Much sooner than anyone expected Mikhael Khodorkovsky found himself a free man just a few hours after President Vladimir Putin no more than hinted that he was considering issuing a pardon for Russia’s highest profile prisoner.

Khodorkovsky has been held in prison since 2003 after being convicted initially on charges of  tax evasion and fraud in 2005, with a later  charge  of embezzlement and money laundering imposed on him  in 2010.

There are various reports of when Mikhael Khodorkovsky was due to be released, with some saying August of next year while others say that his release was scheduled for sometime in 2017.

Almost immediately after his release,  Khodorkovsky was issued with a Russian  passport as well as all the necessary paperwork that would to allow him to to leave the country. An option that he took up within a few hours taking the short flight from St Petersburg to Berlin, in a  private plane that had been placed at his disposal by Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the former German Foreign Minister.

Genscher has been particularly active in lobbying  for Khodorkovsky’s release, who reportedly had met twice with President Putin specifically to discuss the issue.

After arriving in Berlin, Khodorkovsky confirmed that he requested a pardon because his mother is suffering from cancer, although going on to stress that he had not admitted his guilt on the offenses that he had been charged and imprisoned.

Khodorkovsky’s  eldest son Pavel flew there to greet him after spending his first night of freedom in 10 years in  surroundings considerably more luxurious than his prison cell, Berlin’s  five-star rated  Adlon Hotel.

The following day he was joined by his oldest son  Pavel who had flown from America after hearing the surprise news of his father’s release, later to be joined by Khodorkovsky elderly parents, Boris and Marina.

At this stage little is known of Khodorkovsky’s plans for the future of whether he intends to return to Russia.

Read previous article about Khodorkovsky freed here:

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