Surprise Pardon: Putin Frees His Rival Khodorkovsky

Friday, December 20, 2013

The imprisoned former head of Yukos oil company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, stands in the defendant's box during his trial in the court in Moscow, 31 August 2004. (TATYANA MAKEYEVA/AFP/Getty)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has freed one of his most significant political rivals, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the famed Russian oil tycoon, oligarch and  Kremlin critic, who has been in prison for 10 years.

Putin cited "humanitarian principles" for the unexpected pardon. The move comes at a time when Russia's human rights record is in the spotlight, as the country prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in February.

Joining The Takeaway to discuss Putin's sudden change of heart is Bob Amersterdam, former defense attorney for Mikhail Khodorkovsky who was at his trial ten years ago. 

See Also: Khodorkovsky's Son Discusses Father, Russian Protests With The Takeaway


Bob Amsterdam


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

STEVE from portland, or

As I understand it, the reason the Russian billionaire was mentioned as being included among the released, but not until AFTER the main press conference "almost as an afterthought," might have been because the billionaire was going to be released very soon anyway, as his 10 years of imprisonment were about finished. So, it seems to me the "takeaway" is "not very much."

Dec. 20 2013 12:43 PM

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