Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky – once Russia’s richest man – has said he will not return to business or get directly involved in politics
“The struggle for power is not for me,” he told a news conference in Berlin, two days after his release from a Russian jail.
Khodorkovsky was one of the richest men in the world when he was arrested in 2003 on his private jet at a Siberian airport.
He was charged with fraud and tax evasion for dealings related to his Yukos oil company. He denied the charges and maintained that they were politically motivated.
At the Berlin news conference, the former business leader and Kremlin critic stressed that many political prisoners remained behind bars:
“One should not see me as a symbol that there are no political prisoners left in Russia. I would like you to take me as symbol that the efforts of civil society may lead to the release of people whose release was not expected by anyone,” he said.
Khodorkovsky thanked all those who had stood by him and fought for his release, adding that “the attention of mass media ensures that many people who are unjustly imprisoned today in Russian jails keep alive, stay healthy and keep up hopes of being released.”