News / Europe

    Khodorkovsky Leaves Germany for Switzerland

    FILE - Mikhail Khodorkovsky, center, is seen arriving at his first news conference after his release in Berlin, Dec. 22, 2013.FILE - Mikhail Khodorkovsky, center, is seen arriving at his first news conference after his release in Berlin, Dec. 22, 2013.
    x
    FILE - Mikhail Khodorkovsky, center, is seen arriving at his first news conference after his release in Berlin, Dec. 22, 2013.
    FILE - Mikhail Khodorkovsky, center, is seen arriving at his first news conference after his release in Berlin, Dec. 22, 2013.
    Reuters
    Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky arrived in Switzerland on Sunday, having spent two weeks in Germany since his release from a Russian prison, but gave no clue about his future plans.

    ”He is, as previously stated, delighted that Switzerland is the second country in which he can breathe the air of freedom,” said a statement posted on Khodorkovsky's website.

    ”The purpose of his visit is a family matter, as he and his wife are accompanying their two sons back to school in Switzerland,” the statement said, adding that he had not yet made any plans about permanent residency in Switzerland or anywhere else.

    Khodorkovsky arrived by train in Basel from Berlin, but a spokesman declined to specify his final destination in Switzerland.

    Once Russia's richest man, Khodorkovsky was jailed in 2003 for fraud and tax evasion. He was seen by many as a political prisoner, the highest-profile victim of President Vladimir Putin's campaign to rein in the “oligarchs” who had made fortunes snapping up assets in the chaotic years of Boris Yeltsin's rule following the collapse of Soviet communism.

    After his arrest, tax police filed huge back-tax claims against his oil firm, Yukos, which had a market value of $40 billion at its peak.

    The Moscow-based firm, unable to pay, eventually filed for bankruptcy and its production assets, which included some of the best oilfields in Russia, were sold off at state-run auctions.

    It is not clear what assets Khodorkovsky still retains, nor if he has any money in Switzerland, which initially cooperated with Russia's claims against Yukos by searching firms and houses, seizing documents and freezing assets.

    But in June 2004 a subsidiary of Khodorkovsky's holding company Menatep, which had an office in Geneva, won a court appeal to release $1.6 billion of Yukos funds from Swiss bank accounts.

    In August 2007, Swiss judicial authorities said they had lifted a freeze on all funds related to the by-then bankrupt Yukos, worth some 200-300 million Swiss francs ($220-330 million).

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora