Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, freed by a pardon from Russian President Vladimir Putin after 10 years in jail, said in remarks published on Sunday that he would not go into politics or seek to regain assets of his former oil company, Yukos.
In an interview with Russian magazine The New Times, Khodorkovsky said there were no conditions attached to the pardon but said he had told Putin in a letter: "I do not intend to get involved in politics and do not intend to fight for the return of (Yukos) assets."
In an exclusive interview
with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Sunday, the former tycoon said there
were no conditions for his release.
"Mr. Putin, on a number
of times, publicly said that he was ready to consider the question of my
pardoning -- but I had to say I was guilty for that," Khodorkovsky said
during the interview in Berlin. "That was an unacceptable condition for
richest man, Khodorkovsky's imprisonment brought international criticism to Russia. He spectacularly fell out with Putin a decade ago and had
his Yukos oil company dissolved following his arrest on fraud and tax
evasion charges in 2003.
He became Putin's nemesis, a symbol of
what investors say is the Kremlin's abuse of the courts for political
ends - and share prices rose in Moscow on the news he would be pardoned.
has long singled out Khodorkovsky, who would be due for release in
August, for bitter personal attacks, once saying that "a thief should
sit in jail".
On Thursday, he said: "He has been in jail already more than 10 years. This is a serious punishment."
that Khodorkovsky's mother was ill, he added: "I decided that, with
these circumstances in mind, we should make a decision to pardon him."
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