KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government are hoping that the Madrid Court will on Dec 11, sentence Spanish arbitrator Dr Gonzalo Stampa who is facing charges for “unqualified professional practice” after controversially ordering Malaysia to pay USD14.92 billion to self-proclaimed heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said she was a little apprehensive about the trial because Stampa is a very influential individual in Madrid.

The Madrid Court had carried out its own investigations and filed charges against Stampa and if found guilty, he faces a jail sentence and fine.

The date for the hearing was set following persistent and aggressive demands by the government of Malaysia.

“His father is a well known person, infact he (father) was involved in the independence process of Spain, was involved in the revolution during that time and was also a lawyer, meaning his father and family were very influential people.

“We hope there won’t be any negative pressure during (trial), because it was clear that he (Dr Gonzalo Stampa) had breached the laws of Spain,” she told BERNAMA after appearing as a guest on the Ruang Bicara programme aired by BernamaTV: for ‘A Year With Malaysia MADANI Government’ at Wisma BERNAMA today.

Azalina said she, the Attorney-General and a number of international officers will be in Spain to attend the trial held at the Madrid Court.

According to Azalina, the trial and sentence involving Stampa was important, especially so, because of his action to award the said amount to the defunct Sulu Sultanate despite his services as an arbitrator had been ended but he had continued to carry out international arbitration cases by shifting his base to different countries before making a decision against the Malaysian government.

“...the award, I do not refer to it as Sulu Award but Sulu Fraud, they go to many European countries, because in Europe when they see an award from the arbitrator, they regard is as legal. That is why we must revert back to Madrid where the first award was declared.

“Therefore, we want the Madrid Court to sentence Stampa for the criminal charges and for the crime against the sovereignty of Malaysia, and this will be a victory because he moved to another country to persecute Malaysia,” she said.

Meanwhile, when asked about the same issue during the Ruang Bicara programme broadcast on Bernama TV last night, Azalina said the Sulu case is an example of Malaysia not being equipped with laws on the immunity of the country.

Azalina added that what happened was, Malaysia as a country became a victim of the Sulu Fraud, which involved fraudulent court process involving international arbitration...and a fraud by the appointed arbitrator.

“Because at that time we were not ready, our country was also not stable. So, they took the opportunity. That is why we tabled the State Immunity Bill which aims to provide immunity to foreign countries from civil proceedings in Malaysian courts subject to the immunity restrictions provided, for first reading in Dewan Rakyat on Nov 29,” she said. - Bernama

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