KUALA LUMPUR: The defence counsel of Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa did not deny the fact that he was ordered several times by the court to end his arbitration proceedings brought by the self-claimed heirs of the sultan of Sulu, law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said said.
“The defence did not deny the fact that the court clerk had repeatedly informed him (Stampa) – through documents – that he has to stop,” Azalina said in an online press conference tonight after reviewing the latest proceedings in Spain.
Stampa is facing charges of contempt of court and unqualified professional practice in a Madrid court brought by the Spanish public prosecutor’s office with the Malaysian government as the complainant.
“It is not like only one order was served, more than three, and he still refused. He was very adamant to pursue his position as an arbitrator,” Azalina said.
It was reported in June that Stampa, who ordered Putrajaya to pay US$14.92 billion to the self-proclaimed heirs, would face criminal charges for defying a Madrid court decision to annul the case.
Global Arbitration Review (GAR) reported that authorities in Madrid investigated Stampa in February for this case, despite a Spanish court rescinding his appointment.
Stampa had previously ruled that Malaysia had violated the 1878 agreement between the old Sulu kingdom in the Philippines and a representative of the British North Borneo Company, which used to administer what is now Sabah.
Malaysia challenged the arbitration order in France and Spain, with the French court granting a stay order on the award, pending a decision on Putrajaya’s claim that the order infringed on its sovereignty over Sabah.