Khodorkovsky is free

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a decree on granting clemency to ex-CEO of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

"Guided by the principles of humanism, I resolve to grant clemency to the convict Khodorkovsky Mikhail Borisovitch, born in Moscow in 1963, releasing him from further serving his sentence in the form of imprisonment," reads the statement of the official site of the Kremlin. The decree enures from the date of its signing.

It became known that Khodorkovsky left the colony today.

"We received an official confirmation from the colony administration that Mikhail Borisovich was discharged and left the colony," said Khodorkovsky's lawyer Vadim Kliuvgant.

According to the website of the Federal Penal Service (FSIN), Khodorkovsky flew to Germany, where his mother is undergoing medical treatment. The authority says that upon his discharge Khodorkovsky applied for preparation of the paperwork for going abroad.

"We emphasize that he departed at own request and the exit paperwork was processed at his personal application," reports the website of FSIN.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 on charges of fraud and tax evasion. After two years of investigation he was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment. Later Moscow City Court decreased the sentence to eight years. When the first trial was coming to an end, the second criminal case against Khodorkovsky became known - in December 2010 former Yukos CEO was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment for oil misappropriation and laundering of its sales proceeds. Half a year later Moscow City Court decreased the term of punishment to 13 years. In August 2012 the Supreme Court partially granted the complaint of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev defense and cut the term of punishment by two months.

Corrected term will expire in August 2014 for Khodorkovsky.

Earlier Khodorkovsky said that the president constitutes the only obstacle to his discharge.

Amnesty International has recognized Khodorkovsky as the prisoner of conscience. Replying to the question of journalists of whether he is a dissident, Khodorkovsky said, "If you mean a person, who is ready to spend a long time in prison because of his ideas, than - yes".

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