Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that he planned to pardon former tycoon and bitter Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky after more than a decade behind bars. Putin revealed after his marathon annual news conference that Khodorkovsky had for the first time written a request for a pardon, citing humanitarian circumstances as his mother is ill. "I think we can take the decision and very soon the decree to pardon him will be signed," said Putin, quoted by Russian news agencies.
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