UN court orders release of Argentine ship in Ghana
BY AP Wire Service
Sunday, December 16, 2012
12/16/12 at 5:37 AM
A United Nations court ordered the immediate release Saturday of an Argentine navy training ship seized by Ghana two months ago at the request of an American hedge fund.
The ARA Libertad was detained Oct. 2 in the port of Tema as collateral for unpaid bonds dating from Argentina's economic crisis a decade ago. Argentina appealed to the U.N.'s International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for the ship's release, arguing that as a warship, the Libertad is immune from being seized.
There was no comment from judicial authorities in Ghana about the ruling.
In an expedited ruling, the court ordered that Ghana "forthwith and unconditionally release the frigate ARA Libertad" and ensure the ship and its crew can leave Ghanaian waters.
It also ordered that the vessel be resupplied as needed.
Detaining the ship was "a source of conflict that may endanger friendly relations among states," the court said.
The ruling left untouched the parties' rights to seek further international arbitration on the matter.
Argentine Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino hailed the decision and vowed to continue fighting what President Cristina Fernandez has called "vulture funds," with which the country is locked in a series of legal battles.
Original Print Headline: Court tells Ghana to release ship