Luxembourg court sets aside decision on PETRONAS assets seizure

PETALING JAYA: A court in Luxembourg has set aside an order to seize two companies owned by PETRONAS in the country, which was requested by the self-proclaimed Sulu heirs, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

On July 11 last year, an attachment order was served on PETRONAS Azerbaijan (Shah Deniz) and PETRONAS South Caucasus companies over the seizure of their assets by bailiffs representing the eight alleged Sulu heirs.

The Sulu claimants had attempted to seize PETRONAS assets in Luxembourg earlier last year, and Malaysia had instituted legal proceedings to stop the action.

Azalina, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms), said Malaysia had applied immediately to the district court of Luxembourg to obtain interim relief in the form of the lifting of the attachment.

“The hearing then took place on Dec 5, 2022, before the judge of the District Court, whereupon the attachment was set aside,” she said in a press statement yesterday.

Azalina noted that the Spanish court that appointed arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa, who purportedly granted the Sulu heirs’ claim of US14.92bil, had invalidated Stampa’s appointment and nullified the alleged “preliminary award” that he had rendered in Madrid.

“The French courts have stayed the enforcement of the purported ‘final award’ rendered by Stampa in France, pending the outcome of Malaysia’s action to set aside the final award.

“This decision vindicates the (Malaysian) government’s policy to defend Malaysia in every forum to ensure that the country’s interests and sovereignty are protected and preserved at all times,” she added.

Last year, a French arbitration court ordered Malaysia to pay the descendants of the Sultan of Sulu US$14.92bil.

Stampa, who is from Spain, issued the award in a Paris court of arbitration where Malaysia was not represented.

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