Putin signs Khodorkovsky pardon

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree pardoning the jail sentence of former Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Plans for the move were first announced by Putin Thursday, among other topics discussed at a major press conference.

The news brought a marked increase in the Russian stock exchange, informed world agencies.

Khodorkovsky's sentence was to end in August, after the term was reduced to 10 years and 10 months.

The businessman, together with business partner Platon Lebedev, was held in prison after being convicted to tax evasion and embezzlement.

Adapted from Novinite