Ex-AG seeks to annul ‘Sulu’ misfeasance suit

Former Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas has filed a motion to quash the trial of nine defendants, including two Sabah vice presidents, claiming he was wrongly accused by the Sultanate of Sulu in the Northern Territory. Borneo.

The application was dismissed on four grounds set out in Order 18 of Order 19 of the Courts Act 2012. “The case did not state a reasonable cause; is negative, negative and hot; will damage, embarrass and / or delay the justice of the action; and is a breach of process,” Thomas’ lawyers in Kota Kinabalu, Setzu & Co, said in an email to FMT.

The former AG has engaged the Sabah Law Firm to represent him as lawyers in the peninsula require ad hoc approval from the Sabah and Sarawak High Courts to appear in cases there. The lawyers also said that the High Court of Kota Kinabalu on January 3 gave the federal government, which is involved in the case, a stay of proceedings pending a decision on the cases related to it in the Spanish court.

Last week, the Constitutional Court in Spain rejected the appeal of a group claiming to be the heirs of the last sultan of Sulu in their ongoing dispute with Putrajaya over the restitution of Sabah. The heirs were seeking to challenge a lower court order that annulled the appointment of Judge Gonzalo Stampa to preside over the trial.

According to Setzu & Co, the High Court of Kota Kinabalu has not yet set a trial date, but has set up an electronic investigation process before the Amelati Anak Parnell Judicial Commission on March 29. The prosecutors, who filed a lawsuit last August, want a declaration that Thomas, who as the AG was a legal adviser to the government between June 2018 and February 2020, committed misconduct in public service.

The lawsuit is filed by Jeffrey Kitingan and Joachim Gunsalam, Sabah Ministers Jahid Jahim and Ellron Angin, and Deputy Chief Ministers Joniston Bangkuai, Abidin Madingkir, Robert Tawfik, Julita Mojungki and Flovia Ng.

In February last year, Stampa decided that the federal government will pay $14.92 billion (RM62.59 billion) to the descendants of the last Sultan of Sulu. The dispute stemmed from the 1878 Treaty of Surrender between the Sultan of Sulu, Sultan Jamal Al Alam, and Baron de Overbeck, then Maharaja of Sabah, and Alfred Dent of the British North Borneo Company.

According to the agreement, Jamal gave Dent and Overbeck the right to rule over a large part of Sabah, who agreed that they and their future heirs would pay the Sultan’s heirs 5,000 Mexican dollars annually. In 1936, the Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram II, the last known, died without heirs and payments temporarily stopped until the judge of the High Court of North Borneo, Charles F Macaskie, called the nine heirs appointed by the court in 1939.

Although Malaysia resumed paying these fees when it became a successor to the agreement following the independence of Sabah and the establishment of a federal government in 1963, the payment of the fee – which is RM5,300 per year – stopped in 2013. when the army attacked Lahad Datu, included. east coast of Sabah.

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