Freed Russian tycoon Khodorkovsky reunites with son

By The Citizen

Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been reunited with his son after being freed from jail.

A spokesman for Khodorkovsky confirmed the reunion as he spent his first night of freedom in a decade, at a hotel in the German capital Berlin.

Olga Pispanen said the 50-year-old's parents are about to fly from Moscow to Berlin to see him.

President Vladimir Putin surprised Russians this week by announcing a pardon for Khodorkovsky.

Khodorkovsky, the former head of the now defunct oil giant Yukos and once Russia's richest man, had once been a vocal critic of Mr Putin and used his wealth to fund opposition parties.

Confirming he had requested a pardon because his mother is suffering from cancer, Mr Khodorkovsky stressed he had not admitted guilt and made reference to those who have been 'unjustly convicted and continue to be persecuted'.

Khodorkovsky's eldest son Pavel flew from the United States, where he lives, to Germany upon hearing the news of his father's release.Spokeswoman Olga Pispanen confirmed 'they are now together in Berlin.'

She said his parents, Marina and Boris, are 'ready to go to Berlin as well in order to… hug him'.

Khodorkovsky left the penal colony where he was being held, in the Karelia region of north-western Russia close to the Finnish border, early on Friday afternoon.

Upon his release, he was given a passport and the necessary documents to allow him to fly from St Petersburg to Berlin.

He is believed to be staying at Berlin's Adlon Hotel.

Convicted of tax evasion and theft, Khodorkovsky has been in prison since 2003 and was due to be released next August. BBC