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Former M’sian PM Najib threatens legal action against Netflix’s show ‘Man on the Run’ amidst ongoing 1MDB trial

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, former Malaysian Prime Minister facing 1MDB-related charges and currently in prison, urges prosecution action against Netflix’s ‘Man on the Run.’

Najib’s defense counsel emphasizes documentary’s subjudicial nature.

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, currently facing charges related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, has called upon the prosecution to take immediate action against the Netflix show ‘Man on the Run’ on 8 January.

The documentary, directed, written, and produced by Cassius Michael Kim, explores the 1MDB scandal and features interviews with key figures, including Najib himself.

Najib’s defence counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, conveyed the request to presiding judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah, emphasizing that the documentary is highly subjudicial and contemptuous to the ongoing trial.

Mr Muhammad Shafee argued that the prosecution has a responsibility to address the matter promptly.

‘Man on the Run,’ which premiered on Netflix on 5 January 2024, delves into the intricacies of the 1MDB scandal, including interviews with former Damansara MP Tony Pua, whistleblower Xavier Andre Justo, and Najib himself, who denies any involvement in the scandal during his approximately 10-minute interview.

When asked if Najib had watched the documentary, Mr Muhammad Shafee responded, “He is in prison. How could he watch it? He doesn’t have that privilege.”

He also expressed concerns about statements made by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the documentary, describing them as “unpleasant” and highlighting the ongoing nature of the case.

“There were statements that were unpleasant because there is no proof and the case is still ongoing,” he said.

He pointed out that the documentary implicated fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, commonly known as Jho Low, as the mastermind behind the embezzlement of funds.

He urged Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib to review the documentary and consider reporting it to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Home Ministry for potential censorship.

“We are also mulling to take action against (former Attorney-General) Tommy Thomas and (Sarawak Report editor) Clare Rewcastle-Brown for their alleged statements in the documentary,” Mr Muhammad Shafee added.

In response, Mr Ahmad Akram stated that he had just recently learned about the documentary and had not yet seen it.

He committed to reviewing the content and consulting with the Attorney General for further guidance.

“I will have to watch it first and see whether I should report it to the AG and get further instruction from him. My learned friend also needed to write a letter to the MCMC and Home Ministry regarding this issue,” he said.

Mr Muhammad Shafee replied that he would promptly write to the relevant authorities regarding the matter.

Justice Sequerah took note of the complaints, and the trial proceeded with the 49th prosecution witness, MACC Senior Superintendent Nur Aida Arifin, reading her witness statement.

Najib, aged 70, faces charges related to obtaining bribes and money laundering amounting to RM2.3 billion linked to 1MDB.

The trial is set to continue on 24 January 2024.

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If he has not watched the documentary, how does he know the content?

They should rename it as “The Man who can’t Run”. Can run from the Crime he committed …

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