Geneva (AFP) – Former Russian oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in prison in Russia, has applied to become a resident of Switzerland, his spokesman told AFP on Monday.
“His application for residency was filed a while ago,” said spokesman Boris Durande, without specifying which part of Switzerland Khodorkovsky intends to settle in.
The 50-year-old foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been living at a Zurich hotel since shortly after he was pardoned and released from jail on December 20.
He was once Russia’s richest man and an influential politician with presidential ambitions who openly opposed Putin when the former KGB spy first entered the Kremlin in 2000.
Khodorkovsky’s arrest in 2003 and subsequent convictions on fraud and embezzlement charges have been widely condemned by Kremlin critics as an effort by Putin to silence his most potent rival.