AJC Welcomes Release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Dec 20, 2013, 15:32 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC welcomes the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky from a Russian prison. The Russian entrepreneur had become, before his arrest more than a decade ago, one of Russia's leading businessmen, heading a major energy company. He was incarcerated in harsh conditions for the past ten years.

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"Whatever the motivation of Russian President Putin to pardon Mikhail Khodorskovsky, his release today is a long overdue, welcome development," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

"Khodorkovsky suffered gross human rights abuses for ten years as a prisoner, who many believe was originally sentenced for politically-motivated reasons, in Russia's notorious penal system," said Harris. "We wish him well as he savors his first days of freedom in Germany, the warm welcome of German officials, and the embrace of his family."

Long viewed as rival of Putin, Khodorkovsky has vigorously and consistently denied the charges of fraud and tax evasion brought against him that led to his long-term sentence.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee