Tuesday, December 18th 2012 - 04:01 UTC

Argentina says Belgian highest court rules against seizure of diplomatic accounts

The Belgian Supreme Court threw out an attempt by hedge funds to seize Argentina’s diplomatic accounts in that country, according to a release on Monday from the Argentine Foreign ministry.

Financier from NML Capital tried to seize embassy funds in Brussels

This follows on last Saturday’s Law of the Sea tribunal ruling ordering the immediate release of the impounded Argentine navy frigate ARA Libertad retained in Tema, Ghana.

The court also ordered the plaintiff to pay for the costs of the trial.

The Foreign ministry said that the Belgian high court accepted Argentina’s arguments based on the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations which states that “the premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution”.

The ruling also said that no injunctions or coercion actions can be implemented against the assets which ensure the functioning of a diplomatic mission.

“This thus means that the immunity of execution regime is extensive to the funds deposited in local banks and specifically destined to sovereign activities of a State”.

“This way the highest court in Belgium and the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg have delivered significant blows to the strategy of financer Paul Singer, owner of the ‘vulture fund’ NML, seated in the Cayman Islands which bought defaulted debt and later refused to accept the restructures of 2005 and 2010, while at the same he launched injunctions worldwide before international tribunals, which one by one have been lifted by Argentina”, says the release.

The cases brought by NML stem from Argentina's massive sovereign default in 2001. About 93% of the defaulted bonds were tendered in 2005 and 2010, but a few holdouts turned their noses up at the deal that offered just 33 cents on the dollar and have dogged Argentina in courts across the globe to collect the full value of the bonds.

In Buenos Aires Defence Minister Arturo Puricelli, confirmed on Monday that tne navy training ship ARA Libertad will sail from Ghana, where it’s been seized since October, this Wednesday to arrive to the Buenos Aires port on January 9.

Puricelli explained that a large crew will be sent to the African country as “there are only 45 sailors on the ship, and though they can sail the Libertad it would demand an enormous effort for such a small crew to make her cross the Atlantic Ocean.”

Likewise, Puricelli remarked that Ghana “cannot disobey the UN’s Tribunal of the Sea order for the immediate release of the ship seized at request of a US-based hedge fund.”

Furthermore, the official remembered that “‘vulture funds’ were seeking by all means to blackmail us as they are professional speculators. They are riffraff.”

19 comments Feed

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1 Nostrolldamus The 2nd (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 04:09 am Report abuse
Argentina: The Great Bugbear of tbe Bankers.
2 willi1 (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:36 am Report abuse
thar argentine government is a big criminal gang of riffraff, crooks, thiefs, blackmailer who don´t pay their debts to private bondholders all over the world.
they hide their money in switzerland to avoid that it will be impounded. In all democratic countries such crooks would be thrown into prison. but arg IS a prison. to hell with them.
3 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:47 am Report abuse
Watching criminals (argentines) desperately running from the law and their own responsibilities is quite fun though.
4 andy65 (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 12:35 pm Report abuse
ARGENTINA you have to be lucky all the time these guys need to be lucky just once If you would have paid your debts you would not be running from one court to another
5 jeffski (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:07 pm Report abuse
What a complete embarrassment for Argentina yet again, how many times have they been to court in how many country's ????

And still they try to colonise a peaceful democratic successful set of islands that are about to choose to stay a BOT. About time the UN/EU/US and anyone else who represents self determination and freedom of all people's to make it clear to these despot Argies that they support the islanders rights.
6 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:26 pm Report abuse
On the positive side, this is doing wonders for the legal profession, they must be making a killing, up front of course!
7 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:42 pm Report abuse
Lawyers love making money; they invented legal aid, endless appeal processes, and ambulance chasing just so they could make more money.
8 Pete Bog (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:14 pm Report abuse
Argentina, still oblivious to cause and effect.
9 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:30 pm Report abuse
.., and oblivious to the use of toilet paper and/or soap.
10 ProRG_American (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 05:05 pm Report abuse
Its a lovely, lovely, lovely day, ta ra ta taaa.
11 Xect (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 05:35 pm Report abuse
Hardly Pro_RG, this is extremely embarrassing for a country that is trying to rub shoulders with far more powerful nations.

The whole idea of these cases isn't to obtain Argentine assets, its to embarrass Argentina and make life very difficult for Argentina.

And its working. I don't agree with this form of harassment and intimidation by these funds but I do also understand their frustration.

Essentially its a game that only the funds can win and Argentina can lose.
12 Stevie (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 05:42 pm Report abuse
Lets be fair here, NML didn't lend any money to Argentina, and they surely bought the debts at reduced price. What frustration do you understand exactly? The one they got when they tried to profit from a country's default and didn't get away with it? Only frustration I understand is the actual buyers of the bonds.
13 Pirat-Hunter (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:36 pm Report abuse
Belgium has really educated people! it takes a lot of reading to understand Argentina's economic situation. I am sure justice will prevail.
14 briton (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 12:11 am Report abuse
it seems perhaps much coruption is going on in the politicle world of politics.
15 Shed-time (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 01:37 pm Report abuse
@14 where there is a concentration of power and money, there is also corruption. That's simply how humanity works.
16 briton (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 02:14 pm Report abuse
sad but true.
17 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 05:14 pm Report abuse
So, a company cannot sequester assets in lieu of re-payment if they are 'military' or if they are 'government'.

But a government can sequester the assets of a company if it is an oil company or a media company or any other type of company.

Seems to be an imbalance of 'natural justice' here.

Perhaps it might be worth listing national assets - home and abroad - that might be available to a company in lieu of payment.

Swiss bank accounts?
18 ProRG_American (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 04:47 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.
19 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 06:44 pm Report abuse
More good news! Seems Singer and his vultures have never had and have no prospect of getting any victories =)

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