May 19, 2013
Argentina asks UN court to tell Ghana to release ship
Argentina presented today its defence before the UN Tribunal of the Sea in Hamburg to demand the release of its Libertad training frigate, which has been stranded for nearly two months in Ghana due to a court order brought by bondholders.
The Libertad, a naval training vessel, was detained in Ghana’s eastern port of Tema on October 2 at the request of hedge fund NML Capital Ltd, which claims Argentina owes it 300 million dollars on bonds in default since 2002.
The Argentine government stated that it has “done all in its power before taking the case to court.”
“We did everything possible in order to resolve this peacefully,” said Susana Ruiz Cerutti, the legal adviser for the Argentine Foreign Ministry, in the introductory text to the defence presented before the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea this morning.
Cerutti, head of an Argentinian delegation, told the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea that warships have immunity under international maritime law and it is a "mystery" why Ghana has not allowed the ship to leave.
Cerutti said the tribunal should order the ship's release as the United Nations convention on the law of the sea gives warships immunity from civil actions.