BERLIN — After spending 10 years in Russian jails for what many in the West believe were trumped-up offenses, Mikhail Khodorkovsky left prison a free man Friday and immediately flew to Germany.
Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned his long-time rival Friday morning and the country’s Federal Penitentiary Service said Khodorkovsky quickly left the IK-7 prison in the remote northwestern village of Segezha.
Khodorkovsky had petitioned to be allowed to travel to Germany to meet his mother, who is undergoing medical treatment, the Penitentiary Service said in a statement.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Khodorkovsky arrived at Berlin’s Schoenefeld Airport in the afternoon. Khodorkovsky said his application for a pardon, which he made Nov. 12, was not an admission of guilt. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.