Dec. 21 - A German man closely involved in bringing freed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky to Berlin describes Khodorkovsky's dramatic final hours in Russia. Mana Rabiee reports.
That's the father of Mikhail Khodorkovsky entering the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, where his son was reportedly staying on Saturday. Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the former tycoon turned Kremlin critic who was unexpectedly released from a Russian prison just a day before. His mother was also seen reunited with her son in a still image released that day. Khodorkovsky was several months away from finishing his ten-year jail term when Russian President Vladimir Putin abruptly released him with the stroke of a pen. Now details of his reported final hours in Russia are coming out. Alexander Rahr, a political scientist involved with Khodorkovsky's flight to Germany, gave an interview to Russian language news channel RTVI. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) GERMAN POLITICAL SCIENTIST ALEXANDER RAHR, SAYING: "He was woken up at two o'clock in the morning. The chief of the concentration camp held a talk with him and said that he will now be released to go abroad and asked if he is ready to go abroad. He agreed." Khodorkovsky's release, says Rahr, was made possible through back-room diplomacy between Germany and Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) GERMAN POLITICAL SCIENTIST ALEXANDER RAHR, SAYING: "Thank God Germany still has those secret or semi-secret channels that other European countries or America probably do not have any more with Russia and which in such situations can work." It's not clear what Khodorkovsky's immediate plans might be. But Rahr and others close to the dissident say he's unlikely to pursue a political career for now.