Identities of those behind Sulu claimants will be revealed after all legal appeals settled, says Azalina

KUALA LUMPUR: The identities of the instigators and traitors behind the Sulu claimants will be made known once all legal appeals are finally settled, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

"I will not reveal the ongoing strategy but we know that there are instigators and traitors within the country who had supported and assisted the claimants," the Minister in charge of Law and Institutional Reforms said when replying to a question raised by William Leong (PH-Selayang) in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (June 24).

In a supplementary question, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (Warisan-Semporna) insisted Azalina name the instigators and traitors.

"We have our processes and if we name them here, they will surely abscond and then how?" Azalina replied.

At the moment, she said that action against those assisting the claimants will have to wait pending the outcome of ongoing appeals in Spain, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

She said that international arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa had filed an appeal with the Spanish Supreme Court on May 24 this year against his six month jail term and one year ban from acting as arbitrator imposed by Madrid Criminal Court in April this year.

He was convicted after failing to adhered to an earlier court order.

"This is his last chance to appeal against his conviction and the government is awaiting further instructions on this," she said.

She added that claimants had also filed an appeal with the Supreme Court in France which will be heard this Sept 17.

An earlier French court found that Stampa had acted beyond his powers and that the 1878 agreement the claimants were relying on did not include an arbitration clause.

She said that the claimants had also filed an appeal with the Netherlands Supreme Court which will be heard this coming Oct 25 against an earlier court decision not to recognise and enforce the Final Award in Netherlands in favour of the claimants.

She also said that Malaysia is challenging an Exequatur Order in Luxembourg, which will be heard on June 26 for the claimants' final arguments.

"They have made appeals which are at the final stages and the Malaysian government respects their right to appeal," she added.

On action against Paul H. Cohen, counsel for the so-called Sulu heirs, Azalina said that a response will only be given once the appeals are finally settled.

She said government will also pursue criminal action against the claimants including recovering legal costs.

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