Billionaire unjustly jailed in Putin’s Russia to represent Jewish ex-Soviet communities

(JTA) — Eight years after his release from wrongful imprisonment in Russia, the Israeli billionaire Mikhael Mirilashvili was elected to lead the World Jewish Congress Euro-Asian affiliate representing communities from Ukraine to Singapore.

Mirilashvili, who was released in 2009 after spending spent eight years in prison on trumped-up charges connected to his father’s abduction, was elected Monday to succeed the Austrian baking magnate Julius Meinl, the organization said.

Mirilashvili, a 57-year-old physician turned industrialist who was born in the Caucasian republic of Georgia, presented a relatively conservative agenda in his acceptance speech delivered in Ramat Gan, Israel, during the general…