Monday, December 17th 2012 - 06:39 UTC

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 Hamburg Law of the Sea court said unanimously that ARA Libertad should be released immediately

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.

39 comments Feed

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1 reality check (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:58 am Report abuse
Whilst they are debating it, she's announcing that 40 personel are flying there today, jumping the gun a bit! I assume she has obtained the correct visas etc. Oh, she will get it back okay, but if she tries to rub the Ghanaians nose in it, she would do well to remember, that they to0 have national pride and will not take kindlly to being bullied.
2 Anglotino (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 09:33 am Report abuse
I thought it was over and done with. Well at least according to many on here.

I sure hope Argentina will abide by Ghana's “constitutional requirements and International obligations”. It's a bit hard to call for a foreign judge's impeachment as easily as it to call for a domestic judge's.
3 Huntsman Extraordinaire (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 09:44 am Report abuse
Fingers crossed this is far from over. I hope that the tub will still be held in dock this time next year under some new owners (NML).
4 Britworker (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 10:14 am Report abuse
I do hope the Ghanaians piss on their chips and decide to ignore the ruling, but I think they have probably decided they have had enough of this saga. Argentine whining does start grind you down after a while.
I'm sure there will be a cringeworthy dockside ceremony with Turkey neck grabbing as much glory as possible, when in reality the whole situation really ought to be viewed as yet another national humiliation for the Argentines.
5 ElaineB (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 10:31 am Report abuse
The damage has already been done to the credibility of Argentina. This was a huge embarrassment and not the first, nor the last, time that they will dodge the bailiffs.

I am pretty sure the Ghanaian government will just check they have covered themselves and followed the letter of the law before happily waving goodbye to the ship. It was never their fight.

It was very interesting to watch CFKC's attitude change from “Who cares about the ship”, to “I will bring it home” when she realised public opinion was against her. Argentines, you have the power.
6 Stevie (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 11:12 am Report abuse
Don't know how embarrassing it is to have hedge fund failing in confiscating your ships...
7 Teaboy2 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 11:52 am Report abuse
I think the key words from Ghana here are “by taking into account our country’s constitutional requirements” Basically they are constitutional prohibited from interfering with the judiciary and the Ghana courts. The other key words is the statement that this is a dispute between Argentina and NML, therefore they are distancing themselves from the issue, and pointing out they are not and never were a part of it, and that their decision in regards to the International Court ruling will be made in respect to their constitution and international obligations - So that being said the international law of the sea court has no jurisdiction on matters between a State and a non state entity, nor do they have jurisdiction in the internal waters of a state such as ports!

So no the ship will unlikely be leaving unless Ghana what to breach their own constitution!
8 Hepatia (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 12:37 pm Report abuse Because this case has gone to the international court I am assuming that Ghana is a signatory to the relevent convention. In most, if not all, when a country enters into a treaty that treaty becomes part of that country's law. (How could it be otherwise!)

In this case the international court has found that the Ghanan court's decision is unlawful under international law and, therefore, Ghana's law.
9 Simon68 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 12:42 pm Report abuse
8 Hepatia (#)
Dec 17th, 2012 - 12:37 pm

Ghana is a signatory of the Convention, but Ghana also refused to accept that the Tribunal had jurisdiction in this matter because the Convention does not have jurisdiction over a State's internal waters.
10 Zaphod102 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 12:49 pm Report abuse
So the 40 crew being flown over may have a wasted journey? You'd have thought that the sensible approach would be to wait and see if Ghana agrees to release the ship before sending a crew over.
11 Troy Tempest (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 01:22 pm Report abuse
@10 Zaphod

Will the Argie Navy personnel trash the Ghanaian Passport Control Office at the airport ( as private citizens, of course)???

12 Steve-33-uk (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 01:27 pm Report abuse
'Ghana To Ensure Release Of Argentine Navy Ship '
13 Pete Bog (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 01:44 pm Report abuse
Two months after the ship returns(?) the referendum in the Falklnd Islands will signal the beginning of the end for the Argentine's illegal sovereignty claim. So they'll need some reason to be happy. Perhaps the celebarations when the ship returns could be drawn out for 12 months to take the RGs minds off their dysfunctional government, and the referendum result (whatever that will be, heh heh)?
14 ChrisR (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 03:29 pm Report abuse
Bit of a strange decision by the ITLOS when they did not have jurisdiction in the case, but I would imagine Ghana would be glad to be shut of the whole thing.

Apparently some hackers managed to threaten a Ghanaian ministry department with total system annihilation. I bet the Chinese helped because none of the prats in AG would be up to the job.
15 Pirat-Hunter (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 05:14 pm Report abuse
No cracker for Polly ! Maybe Polly should read how the debt he is trying to collect got created before investing into it, the link bellow can help him understand why his chances of collecting is nill and what ever happened with the risk of speculation? is that only fair game on the small investor, so much for Pari pasu BS, where is our money?.
16 Hepatia (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 05:30 pm Report abuse But, plainly, the court, in reference to the Convention, has determined that they do have juristiction.
17 ProRG_American (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 06:02 pm Report abuse
Nothing to review here. Libertad has to leave the port by December 22. Anything else will be subject to further UN action, by force if necessry. The Law of the Sea is to be respected by all for all.
This just shows further posturing by the corrupt Ghanan officials that don't know how to deal with having more egg being spread on their faces for trying to gain world press acting as a collector for a shady third party.
As Minister Timmerman said in his speech on Frida, Argentina has no quams with the Ghanan people.
Just read and hear the voice of the Ghanan people in their blogs.
18 willi1 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:17 pm Report abuse
the Hamburg court is more or less the same than ICSID: an international arbitration court.
ICSID for the criminal arg government gang doesn´t exist if it rules against arg. dozens of rulings against arg are waiting to be followed. nothing. the args always find crazy arguments why they don´t pay. they are Crooks. So Ghana needs not to follow the ruling in favour of arg. it can say: ”leave it to the business partners nml and arg.
19 andy65 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:19 pm Report abuse
@ProRG_American Bit rich you calling Ghanan officials corrupt all Argentine elected governmants since the 1980s have been corupt
20 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:21 pm Report abuse
It will be interesting to see how the Law Of The Sea Conventions are given the responsibility to adjudicate on objects not at sea.

I guess they also assume responsibility for piers, jetties and coastline house frontages.
Perhaps it is just moveable objects sitting below or tied-up below high-tide level ... sailing boats, rowing boats, floating jetties, buoys, etc.
21 Pirat-Hunter (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:40 pm Report abuse
O well i guess Ghana will find it self in the list of rogue regimes who's imports and exports need deep scrutiny, there is nothing to see here, move along boys.
22 Troy Tempest (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:41 pm Report abuse
@17ProARG Argentinian

Good try, Pro ARG Troll.

Right from the beginning, the Ghanaweb site has been plagued by Argentinian Trolls posing as Ghanian citizens.

A bit like our friend “Ariafu”
23 Hepatia (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:12 pm Report abuse But the court has not ruled against Argentina.

I find it interesting that you would like the Ghanaian government to behave in a disreputable manner because you believe that the Argentinian government does so.
24 ProRG_American (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 01:55 am Report abuse
Taa taa, shuu, shuuu. Ghanans I have spoken to in the USA say that this has been a shameful event for their country and want to see it behind them. This is true of an overwhelming number of comments that I have seen from Ghana.
25 andy65 (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:07 am Report abuse
@ProRG_American The only shameful event is that Argentina does not pay it's debts PERIOD
26 ProRG_American (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:12 am Report abuse
25 andy65 (#) I just read that Argentina paid U$S 3.5 Bn on Friday. Perhaps ypu are being sold a bill of goods PERIOD.
27 andy65 (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:15 am Report abuse
yeah seems to have left your reserves a little short also even more after your dear leader the botox queen and her evil son maximo have had there fingers in the pie also
28 Terence Hill (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 04:04 am Report abuse
17 ProRG_American

I think the Ghanese will probably release it. What they are looking at is the reciprocal treaty on Protection of investments they have with the UK. In case they are sued if they release the boat.
The ITLOS has no power to enforce its rulings. So technically Ghana could ignore it like Argentina has ignored the many judgements against her. I doubt that the UN would do anything unless war broke out.
29 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 11:04 am Report abuse
Porarg Yank

Would that be the Friday, they paid 3.5BN, following the Wednesday they borrowed 6.5BN.

Who's been sold a bill of goods???????????
30 ProRG_American (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:54 pm Report abuse
Good Morning all.
31 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:01 pm Report abuse
Thought the article said the Ghanaian Goverment was sending it to their courts and it could be released as early as tomorrow. The courts have to rule on it yet, but don't panic, they will release her, they respect the rule of International Law.
A mere formality, but don't count your chickens before they've hatched.
32 Pete Bog (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:40 pm Report abuse
If it sails for the Falklands, will the MOD comandeer HMS Victory to follow Libertard?
33 ProRG_American (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 05:15 pm Report abuse
The Ghanan Government informed Argentina weeks ago that if the Tribunal of the sea ruled for the ships release, it would honor the decision. Much political posturing and damaage control by Ghanas foreign ministry here guys. They are enfuriated with their legal system and so are the Ghanan people. It has cost Ghana lot's of money and embarassment after being seen as a corrupt tool of the Vulture funds. Argentina has said that it would seek compensation for damages. I hope that Argentina goes easy on them. Hopefully just sail out and leave this whole matter behind. The Argentine nation holds no grudges against the Ghanan people over this matter. It was not their doing. As a result, expect to see a window of opportunity by both nations to establish close ties as well as with UNASUR. The Vulture/British Intelligence alliance is licking its wounds after being mulled by the UN. A well deserved lesson taught to these scoundrels.
34 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 06:26 pm Report abuse
As an American you above all people should know of the independence between state and judiciary, the Ghanaian will not instruct their courts to release the Libertad, they will ask them to consider the ruling and in turn rule on it.
I'm simply pointing out, whilst it is a formality, this is now everything to do with their courts, not their Foreign Office.
She doesn't sail until a Ghanaian judges signature, is on a court order.
Ghana is not Argentina.
35 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:42 pm Report abuse
ProRG #33
“The Vulture/British Intelligence alliance is licking its wounds after being mulled by the UN. ”

... that would be spicy and warmed, like a Christmas wine.
36 andy65 (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 12:06 am Report abuse
@reality check that piece of Sh.t ProRG_American is no American he is an Argentine greace ball
37 Troy Tempest (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 05:30 am Report abuse
@33 Pro ARGIE

“They are enfuriated with their legal system and so are the Ghanan people. ”

How do you know that, ProARG??

Are you going to quote some of the 'Africans' commenting on Ghana Web?

Don't bother, it's entirely populated by Argentinian Trolls and hackers now.

38 ProRG_American (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 04:50 pm Report abuse
La Nacion and C5N have confirmed that ARA Espora has sailed from South Africa and is headed towards the Brazilian coast where it will join ARA Libertad to escort it into Mar Del Plata Naval base on January 9, 2013.
39 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 06:30 pm Report abuse
#5 Cristina's position was consistent, she wasn't going PAY Singer for the ship (which she hasn't) but was going toget it back (which she has). Suck on that, bank lover!

#33 Great comment

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