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Switzerland Grants Khodorkovsky 3-Month Visa

Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been granted a three-month visa to Switzerland, giving him free access to the 26 countries that form part of the Schengen zone.

Khodorkovsky, who has been staying in Germany since his release from a Russian jail on Dec. 20, last week applied for a visa to Switzerland, the residence of his wife and children.

Germany, another Schengen state, had earlier granted Khodorkovsky a one-year visa allowing him to stay in that country.

The former CEO of the dismantled oil giant Yukos, was freed by a presidential pardon after serving more than a decade in prison following his arrest on a Siberian runway in 2003 and two subsequent convictions for fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement.

The Supreme Court last Wednesday ordered a review of past cases against Khodorkovsky citing an earlier ruling by the European Court of Human Rights as a basis to renew legal proceeding in the case.

The European court ordered Russia in July to pay Khodorkovsky $13,200 in damages for numerous violations of his rights during the high-profile trial.

Earlier this year, Khodorkovsky, said he would go into politics and would not fight for the return of Yukos assets.

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