Freed Russian-Jew Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once the country’s richest man, was in Israel on Friday, meeting with former business partner Leonid Nevzlin, Israel’s Calcalist business website reported.
Khodorkovsky was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin last month after a decade in jail and being stripped of his oil company Yukos Oil Co., at the time, Russia’s largest oil producer.
Khodorkovsky’s spokeswoman Olga Pispanen told Bloomberg News his trip to Israel is “not a working or business trip; it’s a private visit,” but the business site speculated that his trip may have been tied to recovering some of his lost assets.
In 2004, Khodorkovsky transferred to Nevzlin his 60 per cent stake in Group Menatep, which owned about 40 percent of Yukos. Nevzlin and at least two other former Menatep owners, Vladimir Dubov and Mikhail Brudno, live in Israel, Bloomberg said. However, Khodorkovsky told Bloomberg in an interview last month that he wasn’t immediately planning to ask Nevzlin to return his Menatep stake.