Michail Chodorkowski is one of the leading figures of the opposition in Russia. Former Billionaire and owner of an oil drilling and exporting company.

He was trialed an jailed in 2003 for alleged tax evasion, yet it seems obvious that his trial and sentencing was politicaly motivated.

His amnesty was announced very suprisingly today by Putin, after Russias primeminister had only announced yesterday that there would be no amnesty for him.

The amnesty omes together with an amnesty set in place for the 20 years aniversery celebrations of Russias constitution and will also give amnesty to up to 20 000 Russians who are serving jail time for "hooliganism" (the "crime" for which most opposition figures are in jail)

I believe this to be a political move by Putin, to clean up his image in the West a little bit after it had been tarnished this year.

Putin shure knows how to play games.

link in German: