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Khodorkovsky to Work to Free Political Prisoners

World | December 22, 2013, Sunday // 18:29| Views: 768 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Khodorkovsky to Work to Free Political Prisoners Mikhail Khodorkovsky, photo by EPA/BGNES

Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said he does not intend to return to Russia until a USD 550 M lawsuit against him and Platon Lebedev is settled.

Speaking at a press conference in Berlin on Sunday, the oligarch vowed to do all he could to free other political prisoners.

Speaking to representatives of 83 media outlets from scores of countries, including Russia, Germany, France, Austria, UK and the US, he thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel and his supporters for helping to secure his release.

At the press conference near Checkpoint Charlie, the former Yukos oil billionaire  declared that he did not intend to go into politics or to finance the Russian opposition.

Khodorkovsky, as cited by the BBC News, explained that he would not return to his homeland until he was certain he could leave again at any time and that further charges would not be brought against him.

He said that he did not know yet where he would live with his family.

Prior to the news conference, Russia's former richest man told journalists that he had never pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion charges, adding that he had requested a pardon without making an admission of guilt.

Khodorkovsky was pardoned and released on Friday, after 10 years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. He was due to be released next August, but requested a pardon because his mother was being treated for severe cancer in Germany.

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Tags: Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russian opposition, Yukos, Vladimir Putin, pardon, tax evasion, money laundering, Platon Lebedev, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
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