BERLIN/MOSCOW Dec 21 Former oil tycoon Mikhail
Khodorkovsky was reunited with family members in Berlin on
Saturday, a day after he was released from a decade-long jail
term during which he became one of Russian President Vladimir
Putin's most prominent critics.
Khodorkovsky, 50, was released from a remote prison near the
Arctic Circle on Friday after Putin pardoned him with the stroke
of a pen. He immediately flew to Berlin, where his relatives
arrived on Saturday.
"My family is finally reunited and we're very, very happy to
be together after the 10 years of separation," his son Pavel
Khodorkovsky, who flew in from the United States, said outside
the Adlon Hotel in the German capital.
"As you can imagine my father is going through a lot right
now," he said.
Khodorkovsky's elderly parents, Marina and Boris, also flew
in and were reunited with their son, a spokesman for the family
Khodorkovsky, who had been in jail since his arrest in
October 2003 on fraud and tax evasion charges, was convicted
twice of financial crimes, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Kremlin critics say he angered Putin by funding opposition
parties, questioning state decisions on oil pipeline policy,
raising corruption allegations and fashioning himself as an
enlightened, Western-style post-Soviet executive.
In an excerpt from the first comment to the media since his
release, Khodorkovsky told Russian magazine The New Times in a
video interview that his family was allowed only a handful of
overnight visits during the years he was in prison.
"There was an opportunity - three days, once per quarter,
during four years out of the 10 - to spend nights in the
visiting room," said Khodorkovsky, who look composed and relaxed
in a black turtleneck sweater.
Putin's decision to pardon Khodorkovsky, who had been due to
be released next August, was widely seen as an effort to improve
Russia's image before it hosts the Winter Olympics in February.
Putin said on Thursday that Khodorkovsky sought a pardon
because his mother was ill. Khodorkovsky said in a statement on
Friday that he had asked Putin for a pardon for unspecified