Represented by his lawyer, Najib sent letters to Multimedia and Communication Minister as well as to the Commission, urging them to order Netflix to take down the documentary as it has elements of subjudice pertaining to ongoing case
KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says the government will look into a request by lawyers of former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, to order streaming service provider, Netflix, to take down the Man On The Run documentary.
Anwar was quoted by FMT to have said after Friday prayers in Kajang today that he will consider the request.
Earlier today, Shafee & Co, the law firm representing Najib, in a letter addressed to the Minister of Communication & Multimedia, Fahmi Fadzil, with copies to the Communication and Multimedia Commission, said that the documentary, “Man on the Run”, is subjudice and prejudicial to Najib’s defence in his ongoing 1MDB trial.
“The statements they made amounted to contempt of court,” the letter stated.
Najib’s lawyer, Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah had earlier stated that they would file contempt and defamation proceedings against some of the individuals who were interviewed in the documentary.
The documentary revolves around the role of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, in 1MDB. It premiered in local and Singapore cinemas in October last year, but was removed after it received poor response and is now available to Netflix subscribers.
Anwar was among those interviewed in the Netflix documentary.
Apart from requesting the MCMC to ensure that the documentary is taken off the air, the law firm also urged the government to take action against the production crew for distributing offensive content.
“We would like to state here that various parties interviewed in the documentary have made allegations against our client (Najib) which, among others, are defamatory, sub-judicial, prejudicial, biased and have not been and/or have never been proven through either documentary evidence or oral evidence of witnesses presented in any trial, including the trial of the currently ongoing 1MDB-Tanore Case,” the letter continued.
The firm also attached short transcripts of interviews by the parties named below which they claim are prejudicial against their client and who are in contempt of court in the proceedings of the 1MDB-Tanore Case. Among them are:
Tommy Thomas, former Attorney-General of Malaysia:
“Companies are in a sense, legal fiction. There must always be human individuals, human personalities, directing and deciding for companies. Who are the people making the big decisions for 1MDB? It’s definitely between Najib and Jho Low. They are the two people controlling it and directing the affairs.” (12:38)
“What is never clear is the relationship between the two of them – who is the puppet master and who is the puppet? That’s a riddle because it’s really between the two of them.” (13:50)
“People often forget that Najib and Jho Low, as the architects who conceived and designed the scheme, could not have achieved all this without helpers, people who assisted them, enablers. All of them were compliant.” (1:17:41)
John R Malott, former US Ambassador to Malaysia
“Najib was Prime Minister, he was Finance Minister and he also was the Chairman of 1MDB. So, the pattern would go something like this – Jho Low goes to the president of 1MDB, who reports to Najib, and says “The boss wants you to do this”. So, the president of 1MDB says “Oh, okay.” And then Najib signs off on that as Chairman of 1MDB, and it has to be reviewed by the finance ministry, and the minister of finance, who’s Najib, says, “Sounds good to me.” And then it’s reviewed by the Prime Minister, who also happens to be Najib. There were absolutely no checks or balances.” (12:56)
“When Najib claimed that the $681 million that suddenly showed up in his bank account was a gift from a Saudi prince, it’s very hard to suppress your laughter. Let’s put it that way. Who in their right mind would give you $681 million into your personal private bank account with no strings attached?” (39:50)
Clare Rewcastle Brown, Chief Editor of Online Blog, Sarawak Report
“Everyone was talking about 1MDB as Najib’s slush fund. It was known that his advisor on this fund had been this rather flamboyant young Chinese guy, but no one really knew more than that. The media is very cautious in Malaysia, so it was all whispers.”(15:54)
“It was sort of significant day, because on that morning that we met, the opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was taken off in a van to jail on a trumped-up case that was designed by Najib to hobble the opposition.” (23:55)
“June 2015, I was made aware that the various investigations into 1MDB had established that two days after the third Goldman Sachs bond deal, $681 million had arrived into Najib’s personal bank account.” (37:48)
“It’s not often that a Prime Minister gets $681 million transferred into his account so that was a dynamite story.”(38:58)
“Najib had reluctantly allowed these to go into operation until those investigations started to deliver some extremely interesting information.” (40:38)
“I received an anonymously sent document. It was the arrest warrant for Najib Razak. So, I bit the bullet and I published it. And that was when everything went wild.” (41:27)
“The young lawyer in the attorney general’s office who had drafted that arrest warrant was pulled from his car on the way to work in the middle of KL. Disappeared.” (42:48)
“It succeeded in terrifying everyone. Every white-collar bureaucrat in Malaysia got the message. You move against Najib and that’s what going to happen to you.” (43:44)
“Clearly, this was orchestrated by Najib and Jho Low and their contacts in Thailand. Xavier was horrifyingly thrown into jail. He was treated like a terrorist. He was then forced to sign a confession.” (43:24)
“I was branded an enemy of Malaysia by Najib. A request was made to Interpol by Malaysia to put me on their red notice list to be arrested at any point as a terrorist for activities detrimental to democracy, as they put it.” (46:20)
“Malaysia was always an autocratic regime with a velvet glove. At this point, Najib took off the velvet glove. He was desperate. We were reaching the end game and he was struggling to survive.” (46:49)
Charles O’ Neal (Chuck), Former FBI officer to Malaysia
“As we started to get information about this purported fraud that had transpired through Jho Low’s collaboration with Prime Minister Najib there was this attempt to funnel money out of this 1MDB sovereign wealth fund and that money was not going to go where it was supposed to go.” (36:17)
“Gani, point blank asked us, “Hey, you guys are hearing these allegations that are out there. Do you believe there’s any validity to them?” He had asked the Prime Minister if there was any validity to these allegations and was told no. The fact that that was the first real inquiry from the Malaysian government was significant to me and that probably is what spurred Dave and I to continue to send information back.” (36:49)
“Clearly, this fraud had touched on US territory, making it under FBI jurisdiction to investigate. All roads and the allegations led back to the prime minister, Dato’ Sri Najib in collaboration with Jho Low, mastermind of the fraud” (40:53)
David Smith, Former FBI officer to Malaysia
“I was shocked at how kind of brazen that was. It was pretty obvious that this was related to 1MDB.” (40:18)
Tony Pua, Former MP for Damansara
“I have the honour of being the person who is the most litigated against by the sitting prime minister.” (42:21)
“Najib decided to sever that independence, so all the institutions that should have been able to act as check and balance, were immediately destroyed.” (42:39)
“There are those within the society who are more than happy to glorify a crook, who are willing to betray our future in exchange for favours and political patronage.”(1:25:12)
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia
“It’s just not Najib. It’s systemic. Najib, is of course, the icon of that corrupt establishment, but the system has been totally compromised.” (1:27:05)
The firm stated that the law is intact and sustainable with respect to Contempt of Court in Malaysia. Article 126 of the Federal Constitution provides for the power of punishment for contempt.
The Federal Court, the Court of Appeal or the High Court have the power to punish any contempt against it as enshrined in Section 13 of the Courts of Justice Act 1964. – NMH
Datin Hasnah is the co-founder and CEO of New Malaysia Herald based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
With an extensive background in mass communication and journalism, she works on building up New Malaysia Herald and it’s partner sites. A tireless and passionate evangalist, she champions autism studies and support groups.
Datin Hasnah is also the Editor in Chief of New Malaysia Herald.