Freed Russian tycoon Khodorkovsky will work to release other political prisoners
Washington – Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said he will spend the rest of his life working towards the release of other political prisoners in the country.
Khodorkovsky, who castigated the Kremlin throughout the decade he spent in prison, is not going into politics, but will devote his time to social causes.
According to the Washington Post, Khodorkovsky told reporters at a packed news conference at Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie Museum that he was grateful for the support he received during his long incarceration.
Khodorkovsky was arrested at gunpoint at a Siberian airport in 2003 and charged with massive fraud and tax evasion in Russia.
His supporters said the case, which bankrupted Yukos, the oil company he founded, was orchestrated by the Kremlin to punish him for his political activities, the report said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Khodorkovsky a surprise pardon on Friday. He was released and flown to Germany on a private jet.
According to the report, Khodorkovsky said his release should not deflect attention from other political prisoners in Russia.
He said he would do ‘everything possible’ to help secure their freedom.
Khodorkovsky said he had no plans to re-launch his business career.
He said he would devote his time to helping people held in Russian prisons and hinted that he might seek a role in civil society, the report added.