Malaysia welcomes Madrid Criminal Court's decision on Stampa

09 Jan 2024 07:45am
Azalina. Bernama FILE PIX
Azalina. Bernama FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia welcomes the Madrid Criminal Court's decision on rogue arbitrator Dr Gonzalo Stampa who was found guilty contempt of court and was sentenced six months in prison as a significant victory for the rule of law.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the decision will also help preserve the sanctity of international arbitration as an alternative form of dispute resolution.

She said Malaysia is also confident that this landmark decision will serve as a further deterrent to the ominous actions carried out by the perpetrators of the Sulu fraud.

"The government of Malaysia will continue to ensure that the sovereignty, security and interests of Malaysia are protected at all times,” she said in a statement.

Azalina said the criminal court in its decision found that Stampa had deliberately acted with the aim of preventing the annulment order from becoming effective, an act which is unbecoming of a lawyer.

She said the criminal court further found that Stampa has an obligation to comply with the orders of the Madrid High Court of Justice, regardless of his opinion about the validity of such court orders.

"On Jan 8, 2024, Malaysia secured another landmark victory in Spain following the decision of the Madrid Criminal Court which found Stampa guilty of contempt of court in criminal proceedings brought by the Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office and Malaysia.

"The Madrid Criminal Court has sentenced Dr Stampa to six months imprisonment and banned him from practising as an arbitrator for one year for knowingly and blatantly disobeying the clear rulings and orders from the Madrid High Court of Justice,” she said.

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Earlier, Azalina in a post on X (formerly Twitter) said the efforts by MADANI Government in addressing and putting a stop to the Sulu fraud has not been in vain and that the government persists in the fight for justice and will continue efforts to annul the Final Award.

Azalina said previously, on 29 June 2021, the Madrid High Court of Justice had issued a final order that annulled Stampa’s appointment and all his procedural actions due to the fact that Malaysia had been improperly summoned in the arbitrator appointment proceedings.

She said as a result, the Madrid High Court of Justice ordered that Malaysia be correctly summoned and for the proceedings to be recommenced.

The Claimants’ attempt to appeal the said decision failed which confirmed the annulment of Stampa’s appointment.

"Despite the final and binding order by the Madrid High Court of Justice, Stampa continued to blatantly ignore and disobey the orders of the same court that appointed him and proceeded to change the seat from Madrid to Paris in order to continue with the sham and abusive arbitration proceedings which resulted in the issuance of the purported final award of close to USD15 billion against Malaysia.

"Notably, in advance of delivering his purported Final Award against Malaysia, Dr. Stampa requested and received more than USD2.7 million in "fees” from the Claimants, via their funder Therium,” Azalina said. - BERNAMA