MOSCOW — Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the onetime Russian oil tycoon who was imprisoned for a decade in a politically tinged case, says he doesn't intend to get involved in politics now that he has been pardoned and released.
President Vladimir Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky on Friday, and hours later he flew on a private jet to Berlin. Khodorkovsky had been imprisoned for tax evasion and money-laundering. The cases were widely criticized as political revenge; Khodorkovsky funded opposition parties and was believed to have personal political ambitions.
In an interview published Sunday on the website of the Russian newspaper Novoye Vremya, Khodorkovsky is quoted as saying that in his pardon application he said he did not intend to get involved in politics or seek the return of the assets of his dismantled Yukos oil company.
Khodorkovsky was released from prison Friday, hours after being pardoned by Putin, and immediately flown to Berlin on a private jet organized by former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher.
The 50-year-old Khodorkovsky is expected to speak about his future plans at a news conference to be held Sunday at nearby Checkpoint Charlie — a crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War that has now become a popular tourist destination.
Once Russia's richest man, the billionaire boss of the country's largest oil company, he was arrested in 2003. His current net worth is unknown.
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