Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca â€” the attorneys at the center of the scandal â€”Â filed suitÂ in federal court in Connecticut on Tuesday, claiming they were defamed by the film. The attorneys asked for an injunction that would barÂ NetflixÂ from distributing the Steven Soderbergh film on its platform.
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In a ruling on Thursday night, Judge Janet Bond Arterton refused to issue the injunction, and instead transferred the case to California. Arterton found that the Connecticut court has no jurisdiction over the issue.
â€œThis lawsuit was a frivolous legal stunt designed to censor creative expression,â€ Netflix said in a statement. â€œSteven Soderberghâ€™s film tells an important story about the exploitation of innocent people and the misuse of the worldâ€™s financial system. Fortunately, you can now watch â€˜The Laundromatâ€™ â€” the film that Mossack and Fonesca tried to censor â€” on Netflix.â€
The movie was given a limited theatrical release on Sept. 27, and began streaming at 12:01 a.m. on Friday.
The film is based on â€œSecrecy World,â€ a book about the Panama Papers. In 2015, an anonymous whistleblower leaked 11.5 million documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm, which revealed a massive web of offshore tax havens.
Mossack Fonseca shuttered its operations last year, and is facing criminal inquiries around the globe. The attorneys allege that the additional publicity from the film will goad Panamanian prosecutors into action, and could taint a potential jury pool if charges are ever brought in the United States.
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