Ghana government to review ruling on immediate release of Argentine vessel
The Ghanaian government indicated on Sunday that it will review the recent ruling by the International Court for the Law of the Sea ordering the African nation to release the Argentine Navy Libertad frigate, which remains impounded there since October 2.
The international court, located in Hamburg, Germany, “unanimously” called on Saturday for the Ghanaian authorities to “immediately release the Libertad frigate,” retained in the Ghanaian port city of Tema since October 2 due to a legal conflict with NML Capital.
“The Ghanaian government has carefully noted the court’s decision,” the Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations Chris Kpodo said.
“The Ghanaian government will carefully review the court order in order to abide by it by taking into account our country’s constitutional requirements and International obligations,” he added.
Kpodo did not provide any further details, but explained that the conflict is between Argentina and the hedge fund NML, which is demanding over 300 million dollars, capital and interest, in defaulted bonds from Argentina.
The US investment fund criticized the court’s tribunal, which calls for the releasing of the frigate.
“Only Ghanaian courts have jurisdiction over this dispute. This is where this has been argued and will continue to be argued,” the company said.
Argentine Foreign minister Hector Timerman said the release of the Navy’s flagship ordered by the Hamburg court openly supports Argentina’s position in its struggle with the speculative ‘vulture funds’.
ARA Libertad was on its annual instruction tour with a crew of 326, mostly naval cadets in their graduation course, which besides Argentines had future naval officers from Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, South Africa and Venezuela. It was impounded on 2 October on reaching the port of Tema on request from a New York court acting from NML Capital, belonging to financer Paul Singer.