Former Russian Oil Tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky Visits Israel

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A spokesman for Mikhail Khodorkovsky says the former Russian oil tycoon is in Israel for a short visit three weeks after he was released from prison by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Khodorkovsky's Germany-based spokesman Christian Hanne confirmed the visit but would give no further details except to say it would be short.

Khodorkovsky's business partner Leonid Nevzlin has been in Israel since Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 on money-laundering and tax evasion charges that many in the West consider trumped-up. Two other former shareholders, Vladimir Dubov and Mikhail Brudno, are also in Israel where they fled to avoid arrest.

The former tycoon had traveled to Switzerland last Sunday. He was pardoned by Putin and flown to Berlin on Dec. 20 after spending more than a decade in prison.

In this Dec. 22, 2013 file photo Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaks during a news conference in Berlin, Germany. Credit: AP