May 24, 2013
Ghana says Libertad crew ‘free to go’
A representative of the Ghanaian government said on Sunday that the crew of the Argentine frigate Libertad, which remains impounded in the coast of the African nation due to a 300 million dollar vulture funds claim, is free to leave the country.
The vessel and its crew have remained in detention since October 2nd at the coastal city of Tema after a Ghanaian court ruled in favor of the NML Capital Ltd fund, in a bilateral dispute that has created tension between Argentina and Ghana.
“They are free to go and leave the country through the standard process of immigration,” an unnamed high-ranking government official said.
NML, associated to the Elliott Management investment fund, said that it would only accept the release of the Argentine ship if the country pays at least 20 million dollars of the unpaid debt.
Argentina defaulted over a decade ago and is facing several lawsuits in US courts over its unpaid debts.
On Saturday, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner ordered the evacuation of the 326 sailors on the boat, leaving aboard only the captain and a small crew, after accusations of human rights violations due to a judge’s refusal to allow the refueling of the vessel, which would allow for the correct functioning of services and emergency equipment.