Khodorkovsky to campaign for political prisoners

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Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky is to become a dissident in exile.

Speaking in Germany two days after being released from jail on a presidential pardon, he said he would not return to Russia to challenge President Vladimir Putin but would campaign for the release of political prisoners.

He also said a pardon was not an admission of guilt.

“There are still political prisoners in Russia. Not everybody is connected to the Yukos case. It is something we will all need to work for in the future, so that in Russia or any other country in the world, there are no more political prisoners,” he told journalists.

In Berlin, Khodorkovsky was reunited with his elderly parents. Once Russia’s richest man, the former Yukos oil baron has always contested the charges of tax evasion which put him behind bars for a decade.

His supporters say he became a whipping boy for Putin because of his financial support for opposition political parties.

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