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Hajiji hopes no more nonsense by 'Sulu heirs'
Published on: Wednesday, January 10, 2024
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Hajiji hopes no more nonsense by 'Sulu heirs'
Hajiji (left) said the Spanish Court’s verdict on rogue arbitrator Stampa (right) proved that the claims made by group  claiming to be so-called heirs of the Sulu sultanate were baseless.
CM Datuk Seri Hajiji said the Spanish Court’s verdict on rogue arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa proved that the claims made by group  claiming to be so-called heirs of the Sulu sultanate were baseless.

Stampa, who controversially ordered Malaysia to pay US$14.92 billion (RM69.88 billion) to the self-claimed heirs, was found guilty of contempt of court by a Spanish Court.

“The State Government and the people of Sabah are happy with the news. We thank Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – Law and Institutional Reform) and the Federal Government.

“We hope after this, there will be no more such attempts,” Hajiji said. 

Azalina said Stampa was also sentenced to six months jail and banned from practising as an arbitrator for a year.

“The Madani Government’s efforts in addressing and putting a stop to the Sulu fraud have not been in vain. 

“We persist in the fight for justice, and will continue our efforts to annul the final award,” Azalina said in a posting on X.

In December, Stampa was charged in the Madrid Court with contempt of court and unqualified professional practice for defying a Madrid Court’s decision to annul the Sulu claimants’ case.

The charges were brought by the Spanish public prosecutor’s office, with the Malaysian Government as the complainant.

Although the High Court of Justice of Madrid had appointed Stampa as the arbitrator in this case previously, it annulled his judicial appointment in June 2021.

However, the arbitrator continued to hear the case, moving his seat of arbitration to Paris.

In February 2022, a French arbitration court presided over by Stampa instructed Putrajaya to pay US$14.92 billion to the purported descendants of the last sultan of Sulu.

Stampa ruled that Malaysia had allegedly violated the 1878 agreement between the old Sulu kingdom in the Philippines and a representative of the British North Borneo Company that used to administer what is now Sabah.

Malaysia challenged the arbitration order in France and Spain, with the French court granting a stay order on the award, pending a decision on Putrajaya’s claim that the order infringed on its sovereignty over Sabah. 

Azalina said the decision will help preserve the sanctity of international arbitration as an alternative form of dispute resolution.

She said Malaysia is also confident that this landmark decision will serve as a further deterrent to the ominous actions carried out by the perpetrators of the Sulu fraud.

“The government of Malaysia will continue to ensure that the sovereignty, security and interests of Malaysia are protected at all times,” she said in the statement.

Azalina said the criminal court in its decision found that Stampa had deliberately acted with the aim of preventing the annulment order from becoming effective, an act which is unbecoming of a lawyer.

She said the criminal court further found that Stampa has an obligation to comply with the orders of the Madrid High Court of Justice, regardless of his opinion about the validity of such court orders.

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Keywords:
Gonzalo Stampa





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