Jho Low trying to block distribution of 1MDB documentary, says report

Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low. (Bloomberg pic)

PETALING JAYA: Fugitive businessman  Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, is said to be trying to block a documentary called The Kleptocrats, based on the 1MDB controversy, from further distribution, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) said today.

The documentary was first screened at the Doc NYC fest in New York in November and later in Malaysia through Astro First.

THR said the London-based law firm Schillings has accused The Kleptocrats of defaming its client in claiming he is the central figure in the scandal.

The lawyers also claim the documentary is infringing copyright in its use of video footage and may prejudice various ongoing legal proceedings.

THR said the filmmakers claim that the letter is simply an attempt at intimidation to silence the film and are fighting back. It said Jho Low’s lawyers had sent letters to a number of distributors and platforms carrying The Kleptocrats asking for the film to be removed from their catalogues.

Directed by Havana Marking and Sam Hobkinson, The Kleptocrats is due to air on Starz (an American premium cable and satellite television network) on Aug 5 and the BBC later this year.

The film includes interviews with journalists working on the story as it unravelled, including those from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and THR.

THR said last year, Jho Low’s lawyers had also tried to prevent bookshops worldwide from carrying the book on the scandal called Billion Dollar Whale, written by Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope and Tom Wright.

The book may be made into a movie by Crazy Rich Asians production company SK Global and its international label Ivanhoe Pictures, with Michelle Yeoh set to produce it.