Dec. 22 - Freed Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky held his first news conference in Berlin following his sudden release from a remote Russian prison camp on Friday. Mana Rabiee reports.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky made his first public comments on Sunday in Berlin, following his sudden release from a remote Russian prison camp on Friday. The former Tycoon turned Kremlin critic was freed from a ten-year jail term after President Vladimir Putin granted him a pardon. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FREED FORMER RUSSIAN TYCOON MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY, SAYING: "When a chief of my prison camp woke me up at two o'clock in the morning, I was told that I would be going home. Then during my trip I found out that it would end in Berlin." Khodorkovsky was convicted in 2003 for charges his supporters say were politically motivated. He had funded opposition parties, questioned state policies, and fashioned himself as a Western-style post-Soviet executive. On Sunday, Khodorkovsky said he had no plans to revive his political career. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FREED FORMER RUSSIAN TYCOON MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY, SAYING: "I am not going to engage in any political activity, and I said that in my letter to President Putin and reiterated it several times since. I am going to engage in public work. The struggle for power is not for me now." As for his immediate plans…. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FREED FORMER RUSSIAN TYCOON MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY, SAYING: "It's been only 36 hours since I walked free. I did not even find it possible to make any plans for the future because the first thing that destroys a prisoner is hope that gets unfulfilled at the very last moment." The former billionaire said his financial situation remains good and he doesn't intend to go back into business.