Khodorkovsky Gets Three-Month Visa, Swiss Foreign Ministry Says

Switzerland has granted freed Russian political dissident and former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky a three-month visa, Swiss foreign ministry spokeswoman Sonja Isella said in an e-mailed statement.

The ministry, citing privacy concerns, declined to comment further on the so-called Schengen visa, which allows Khodorkovsky to travel freely in Switzerland and to other European countries that have accepted and implemented the visa.

The 50-year-old former owner of Yukos Oil Co. arrived in Berlin Dec. 20 after being imprisoned for 10 years for tax evasion and fraud. He and his supporters have maintained his innocence. He last week said he would “most likely” settle in Switzerland after consulting with his wife Inna.

The surprise pardon announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin Dec. 19 allowed Khodorkovsky to leave a penal colony near the Finnish border eight months short of completing his 11-year sentence and fly to Germany to await his family. He faces possible additional charges and fines in Russia, while his former business partner Platon Lebedev remains in prison.

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