General News of Saturday, 13 October 2012

Source: Kojo Smith/Paa Kwesi

Ghanaian court erred in vessel judgment- Argentina

Argentina has said that the Commercial court in Ghana which ordered the seizure of its Frigate Libertad- a naval vessel, violated international laws and norms.

It said several courts, particularly in Europe have ruled against Vulture Fund, stressing that Ghana adhering to its argument would be a travesty of justice.        

Argentina in a statement also attacked the integrity of Paul Singer, Head of vulture Fund, describing him as self-seeking investor.  

 Below is the full statement released by the Foreign and Defense Ministries of Argentina  



The two centuries of Argentine history are marked by the permanent tension between the full exercise of our sovereignty and, in counterpoint, the goal of domination held by the global powers – political as well as military or economic.

The illegitimate embargo of the Frigate Libertad in Ghana by the vulture fund NML Capital is another chapter in that history.

A commercial judge in Accra took the arguments of the vulture funds and concluded that Argentina ceded the entirety of its sovereign immunity in 1994.

In regard to this point it is important to clarify that the vulture funds already used this argument in the past, failing in all cases because the Frigate Libertad is a naval vessel to which the regrettable concessions made in the nineties do not apply.

Various courts in various countries have already set precedents on this matter, always ruling in favor of Argentina.

For instance, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, in December 2006, concluded that government ships constituted assets that were specially protected, saying that “a waiver of immunity that extends to assets used for sovereign purposes ought to be examined taking into account whether it includes assets used for sovereign purposes that enjoy a special status due
to their purpose.

In addition to the objects and assets used for diplomatic purposes, this includes those assets used for consular purposes, but also to government ships and airplanes or equipment of the armed forces.”

 In similar fashion, the Appeals Court in France, in September 2011, expressly ruled as immune to attachment “the accounts belonging to the Defense attaché, the Argentine Army, the Air Force.”

Even Judge Thomas Griesa, who issued the New York judgment that they are trying to execute in Ghana, ruled in September 2008 against NML Capital by excluding from the execution of the judgment “all property that may be found, or is understood to be used in connection with, a military activity or which is under the control of a military or defense agency” because they are immune.

The financial speculator Paul Singer, head of the vulture fund NML Capital, prides himself on always winning with his strategy of buying defaulted debt in order to subsequently multiply his investment geometrically.

The immorality of his usurious practice has provoked reaction from various global organizations, specifically in response to his execution against African countries, where the vulture funds execute legal rulings obtained in New York and London in order to appropriate for themselves aid funds intended to alleviate Africa poverty.

With their tactic against African countries frustrated, the vulture funds cynically modify their argument and conclude that the speculation against Argentina is valid because Argentina has accumulated sufficient reserves.

Today the battle of our country against the vulture funds is observed by many.

Heir to the terrible experience of 2001/2002, Argentina is working actively against the strategy of the vulture funds and other forms of aberrant financial speculation.

Against all the predictions and precedents, we arrived at an agreement with 93% of our creditors while at the same time we did not give in to the vulture funds, and we shall not do so because for the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, it is not an accounting question, but a question of sovereignty.

The defense of our sovereignty, the words of Raul Scalabrini Ortiz and Arturo Jauretche, are not mere expressions of the past.

The conflict between the powerful interests that finance policies and opinions in order to maintain their contemptible business deals has a contemporary chapter in the dispute between the vulture funds and Argentina.