Khodorkovsky on private visit to Israel: spokesman

10th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was freed by Moscow last month after a decade in jail, has travelled from Switzerland to Israel on a private visit, his spokesman said Friday.

Khodorkovsky, who was in Switzerland with his family, "is on a short private visit" in Israel, his spokesman David Krikler told AFP, confirming news reports.

He would not comment on the exact nature of Khodorkovsky's trip, but according to local media reports, the man who was once the wealthiest person in Russia was visiting a former business partner.

Krikler also would not say when Khodorkovsky planned to return to Switzerland.

Freed on December 20 following a pardon by arch-rival President Vladimir Putin, the 50-year-old had stayed in Germany but was last week granted a three-month Swiss visa.

On Sunday, in a Swiss television interview, Khodorkovsky said had travelled to Switzerland with his wife to take their twin sons back to school there.

Local media have reported that Khodorkovsky's wife and their sons live in western Switzerland's Chernex village which overlooks Lake Geneva.

His spokespeople stressed in a statement Sunday that the former oil tycoon "has not yet made any plans about permanent residency in Switzerland or anywhere else".

Khodorkovsky's supporters say his decade-long imprisonment was Putin's revenge against him for financing the opposition and openly criticising the Russian leader.


© 2014 AFP

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