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Judge Griesa declares Argentina in contempt of court, but deferred financial penalties

Monday, September 29th 2014 - 21:16 UTC
Full article 79 comments
Griesa ruled Argentina had not followed court's orders following the passing of a law which seeks to remove BONY Mellon as financial intermediary to pay bondholders Griesa ruled Argentina had not followed court's orders following the passing of a law which seeks to remove BONY Mellon as financial intermediary to pay bondholders
Timerman said a contempt of court order against a foreign country would be “inconceivable” and against international law Timerman said a contempt of court order against a foreign country would be “inconceivable” and against international law
The Argentine government sent a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry saying Judge Griesa's constitutes interference in Argentina's sovereign affairs. The Argentine government sent a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry saying Judge Griesa's constitutes interference in Argentina's sovereign affairs.

New York district judge Thomas Griesa declared on Monday Argentina in contempt of court, due to the country's actions in attempting to change debt jurisdictions as a result of the ongoing judicial conflict with holdout investors presided over by the US magistrate.

The justice, however, deferred the imposition of financial penalties, as requested by hedge fund NML Capital in its petition to the court, for a later date.

Griesa ruled that Argentina had not followed the court's orders following the passing of a law which seeks to remove the Bank of New York Mellon as Argentina's financial intermediary to pay bondholders, currently unable to receive funds for debt servicing.

He went ahead with the contempt ruling despite warnings from the Argentine government to US Secretary of State John Kerry that it could constitute interference in Argentina's sovereign affairs.

Earlier in the day the Argentine government released a copy of the letter ahead of a new hearing with US Judge Thomas Griesa, in which it argued that such sanction would be illegal under international law.

Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman stressed that the US government “cannot excuse itself from the decisions taken by US Judiciary.”

In a brief press conference, Timerman said a contempt of court order against a foreign country would be “inconceivable” and described it as a “desperate action against Argentina from (holdouts) vulture funds.” Ahead of Griesa’s decision, the minister pointed out that the US government cannot ignore the actions of US Judiciary.

“The US cannot in any way excuse itself from the action of its Judiciary, since a state is responsible for the acts and omissions of any of its organs,” Timerman said.

“A declaration of contempt of court would entail an unprecedented escalation, one even worse than the decision to prevent payment to restructured bondholders,” he added giving no further details.

The official said that “decisions taken by the US could affect Argentina’s debt restructuring process, violating the sovereignty of the Argentine Republic as a result.”

“A state cannot be subjected to monetary or contempt sanctions by judiciary authorities of another country,” he added.

The official pointed out that Buenos Aires has taken the ongoing legal dispute to the International Court of Justice with no response from the US government
 

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  • Iron Man

    Argentina played poker with Griesa and lost. Now what?

    Sep 29th, 2014 - 09:26 pm 0
  • toooldtodieyoung

    Now, I am not going to say “I told you so...”

    ( but I did )

    and as for Gollum:-

    Timerman said a contempt of court order against a foreign country would be “inconceivable” and against international law

    Oh, he was fine when it was Judge Griesa said that they didn't have to pay... Now that they do, he is an “interference in Argentina's sovereign affairs”.???

    Mind you, making sense has never been Gollum's strong point now has it?

    Sep 29th, 2014 - 09:30 pm 0
  • LEPRecon

    Hey Argentina! Listen up!

    This ruling ISN'T illegal under international law. This is what happens when you waive your sovereign immunity in order to get a better deal when loaning money. YOU signed ALL of your sovereign immunity away in this matter. NOT NML, not Judge Griesa either.

    You gave New York the JURISDICTION over you. YOU ARGENTINA DID THIS - NO ONE ELSE. You only have yourselves to blame.

    So now you're in contempt of court. That'll help you secure investors in your country won't it?

    Face up to the truth. You defaulted. You have REFUSED to negotiate in good faith as ORDERED by Judge Griesa.

    You have twisted and turned (like a twisty turny thing) in some vain hopes of escaping. You have wasted the Argentine taxpayers money by crawling around on your knees begging for someone, ANYONE to help you, and like a drowning man you have grasped at anything coming your way (such as the UNGA vote etc...) in the extremely vague hope that they can somehow overturn this or make it all go away.

    Well guess what, Argentina, the UN CAN'T help you, in any way whatsoever. The ICJ has already turned you down because they don't have jurisdiction in this case.

    And why don't they have jurisdiction? Because you, Argentina, SIGNED IT ALL AWAY for better interest rates, probably assuming that no one would make a ruling against a sovereign nation.

    Well guess what, when bluffing at poker (good analogy Iron Man), it's best not to try and buy the pot, especially when the other guy has a Royal Flush, as you just end up looking like a fool and broke.

    Guess what Argentina? You look like a fool and you are broke.

    Sep 29th, 2014 - 09:37 pm 0
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