PM leaves it to relevant authorities to deal with false claims by counsel for so-called Sulu heirs

Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is leaving the issue of false claims by the counsel for the so-called Sulu heirs against the Malaysian government to the relevant authorities to handle.

"Let others answer it," said the Prime Minister when met by reporters after launching the D'Anjung Selera Madani food court in Bandar Tun Razak on Saturday (June 3).

He was asked to comment on a letter of demand dated May 28, 2023, sent by Paul H. Cohen, counsel for the so-called Sulu heirs, to the Attorney General.

The letter demanded payment before June 2 to settle the controversial "final award" by a French arbitration court.

The purported final award amounted to US$16.412bil (RM75.13bil, including 10% interest) together with US$3,502,394.24 (RM16.02mil) in counsel and expert fees, and US$4,026,592.64 (RM18.4mil) in arbitration costs.

The letter alleged, among others, that the Malaysian Government purposely failed to comply with the purported final award and made outrageous assertions concerning the purported Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa and his actions.

In a statement on Saturday (June 3), the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) said they had responded to the letter on May 31 and lodged a police report on June 1 against Cohen for his "unfair statement and allegations made against the Attorney General".

The AGC said that the Government will continue to take all necessary actions, including legal actions, to put an end to the claims and to ensure that Malaysia's interests, sovereign immunity and sovereignty are protected at all times.

On June 29, 2021, the High Court of Justice of Madrid (HCJM) annulled the judicial appointment of Stampa to act as an arbitrator.

In February 2023, the Spanish Constitutional Court threw out an appeal by the self-proclaimed heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate to reinstate Stampa as an arbitrator.

Stampa was the arbitrator for a 2019 case in the HCJM without Malaysia being involved in the case.

As a result of this decision, the HJCM retroactively invalidated Stampa's appointment and nullified all his actions as a purported arbitrator, including the alleged "preliminary award" he had rendered in Madrid.

Stampa then moved his seat of Arbitration to Paris in February 2022 where he made the "final award" of US$14.92bil (with 10% interest to accrue) against Malaysia.

Malaysia is continuing to fight Stampa's arbitration ruling in Paris and legal attempts to seek Malaysian properties in some European countries.

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