Court allows Gorbachev to leave

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The Independent Online
Moscow - Russia's highest court, bowing to what it called 'humanitarian' considerations, yesterday lifted a strict travel ban on Mikhail Gorbachev and said it would allow him to attend the state funeral of Willy Brandt in Berlin, writes Andrew Higgins.

The chairman of the Constitutional Court, Valery Zorkin, said Mr Gorbachev was still expected to testify in hearings to determine the fate of the banned Communist Party but could go to Germany first. He will also make a scheduled trip to Italy. The Gorbachev Foundation said Mr Gorbachev had spoken by telephone to Mr Zorkin and had agreed to meet him 'to clear up any problems'.