Documentary Critical of Russian Regime Stolen From Berlin Production Office

'Khodorkovsky,' about the trial and imprisonment of oligarch turned Kremlin critic stolen from offices of director Cyril Tuschi.


COLOGNE, Germany – The finished version of the German documentary Khordorkovsky, which traces the controversial trial and imprisonment of oligarch turned Kremlin critic Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, has been stolen from the Berlin production offices of director Cyril Tuschi.

Two computer hard drives and two laptops containing the final version of the film were stolen from Tuschi's offices Thursday night, the director said. Berlin police are investigating the crime.

Khordorkovsky was set to have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 14. An earlier version of the film was delivered to the Berlin Fest two days ago and will be screened if the stolen material cannot be recovered.

This is the second time material relating to the documentary has been stolen. A few weeks ago, a laptop containing an earlier version of the film was stolen from a hotel room in Bali, where Tuschi had gone on vacation to finish his movie.

The theft is certain to feed conspiracy theories about possible Kremlin involvement in the crime. So far, the Berlin police say they have no leads.

An unfinished version of the documentary was screened for Berlin press in late January. One attendee said the film was "extremely well-crafted" and presented a "more or less neutral view" of Khordokovsky.

Once Russia's richest man, Khodorkovsky fell out of favor with Russian leader Vladimir Putin after publicly criticizing him and backing anti-Putin opposition parties. He was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to eight years in a Siberian prison for tax evasion. In December, Khodorkovsky was sentenced to six years more years in prison.