Our author Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was due to complete his prison sentence in August, 2014, was freed today after Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree pardoning him.

"Around 12:20 pm (0820 GMT) Mikhail Khodorkovsky left the prison camp" in the town of Segezha in Karelia in northwestern Russia, a security source in Karelia told Interfax. “On his release Khodorkovsky made a personal request about collecting the documents to go abroad. After being freed he flew to Germany, where his mother is being treated,” a spokesperson for Russia’s prison service said.

Khodorkovsky, who is widely viewed as Mr Putin’s arch enemy, joins a number of high-profile prisoners including Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina who will be released in an amnesty ahead of the February Olympics Games in the town of Sochi.

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