Azalina: ‘Traitors’ will be exposed after Sulu appeals done

Serious matter: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaking to Azalina (centre) and Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek in Parliament. — Bernama

THE identities of instigators and traitors who backed 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 there are instigators and traitors within the country who had assisted the claimants,” the Law and Institutional Reforms Minister said when replying to a question raised by William Leong (PH-Selayang) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

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

However, the minister replied: “We have our processes and if we name them here, they will surely abscond. Then how?”

Action against those assisting the claimants would have to await the outcome of ongoing appeals in Spain, France, Luxembourg and Netherlands, she added.

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

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

“This is his last chance to appeal against the conviction. The government is awaiting further instructions on this,” Azalina said.

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

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

Azalina said Malaysia is challenging an Exequatur Order in Luxembourg, which will convene on June 26 to hear the claimants’ final arguments.

“They have made appeals, which are at the final stages. 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 the government will also pursue criminal action against the claimants, including recovering legal costs.

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