M'sia secures landmark victory in Sulu case at Paris Court, says Azalina

06 Jun 2023 10:28pm
Azalina - Bernama photo
Azalina - Bernama photo
SHAH ALAM - The Paris Court of Appeal has upheld Malaysia’s challenge against the partial award issued in 2020 by Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa in the case filed by eight Filipinos who claim to be heirs of the defunct Sultan of Sulu.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said said the decision means that the claimants cannot rely on the sham award in France for any purpose.

"The Paris Court of Appeal found that the arbitrator wrongly upheld his jurisdiction.

"This decision, which is final and binding, is a decisive victory for Malaysia in its ongoing pursuit of legal remedies, which Malaysia is confident will result in comprehensive defeat for the claimants and their funders," she said in a statement.

She said the claimants have previously targeted Malaysia’s diplomatic assets in France (including part of its Embassy) on the basis of the partial award.

Malaysia had been fighting the measures on the ground of diplomatic immunity, she said.

"They must now be withdrawn following today’s decision that refused to give any effect to the partial award in France," Azalina added.

"Importantly, this decision implies that the Paris Court of Appeal will annul the purported “Final Award” in which Stampa remarkably awarded close to USD15 billion to the claimants," she added.

Malaysia is seeking to have the annulment recorded in a court decision as soon as possible, which should lead to the collapse of the Claimants’ global enforcement efforts todate.
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Putrajaya, she said 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.