Released after 10 years in prison, Khodorkovsky says it won’t return to Russia for now

Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, freed on Friday after 10 years in prison, said he would not return to Russia till outstanding legal cases against him were closed.

Addressing his first press conference in Berlin on Sunday, Mr. Khodorkovsky made it clear he had been effectively deported from Russia after being pardoned by President Vladimir Putin. “I was told I would be going home, but then they put me on a plane to Germany.”

He also suggested that he may have been exiled from Russia. “I’m not planning to go back to Russia for the time being because they may not let me leave the country again,” Mr. Khodorkovsky said citing a Russian court demand that he reimburse 17 billion roubles ($530 million) in tax arrears.

He, however, expressed the hope that the Russian Supreme Court would overturn the lower court ruling.

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