Kremlin critic documentary stolen prior to Berlin premiere


Guardian – The final version of a documentary about Russian former-industrialist Mikhail Khodorkovsky, due to be shown at the Berlin film festival, has been reported stolen after a break-in at the production offices of Cyril Tuschi, the film’s director, in the German capital. This is the second time the film, entitled Khodorkovsky, has suffered following the reported robbery of a laptop containing a previous edit.

Although local police say they have no leads, the immediate suspicion is that the theft is politically motivated and forms part of a Kremlin campaign against Russian oligarchs powerful enough to pose a challenge to Vladimir Putin.

Khodorkovsky, 47, was once Russia’s wealthiest man; as recently as 2004 he was listed at No 16 on Forbes’s worldwide rich list, with a net worth of $15bn (£9.3bn), based on his holdings in the Russian oil company Yukos. But after having his shareholding frozen by the government, his wealth plummeted and he was convicted on fraud charges in 2005. He has remained in jail ever since, with a further sentence imposed in December 2010.

Since Tuschi had already delivered a print of the film to the festival, a screening will go ahead on 14 February – though without German subtitles, if the stolen film is not recovered in time.


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CWB News Department

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