- Title: ARGENTINA: Crew of Argentine ship seized in Ghana arrive home
- Date: 25th October 2012
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (OCTOBER 25, 2012) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) EXTERIOR OF EZEIZA AIRPORT VARIOUS OF FAMILY MEMBERS OF CREW OF THE LIBERTAD WAITING CREW FROM THE LIBERTAD GOING THROUGH CUSTOMS VARIOUS OF FAMILY MEMBERS WAITING VARIOUS OF CREW COMING OUT OF CUSTOMS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LIEUTENANT LUCAS CIARROCA SAYING: "It was emotional, that's what I can say. It was sad of course, but there are 44 Marines on the boat still, the national flag is still on it. So Argentina is still there. The boat has its people, a few, but it has them and I think that it is a question of time. Everything is going to come out ok." VARIOUS OF CREW HUGGING FAMILY MEMBERS VARIOUS OF CREW GETTING INTO BUSES
- Embargoed: 9th November 2012 12:00
- Location: Argentina
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Crime
- Reuters ID: LVAE4L4GH1GJOG4F6DUUGKLZED2L
- Story Text: Nearly 300 crew members of an Argentine training vessel seized in Ghana returned home on Wednesday (October 24) after spending weeks in dockside limbo where their ship was detained on behalf of creditors seeking money lost on defaulted bonds.
The ARA Libertad, a tall sailing ship with a crew of more than 330, was detained in Ghana's eastern port of Tema on October 2 on a court order obtained by NML Capital Ltd, which claims Argentina owes it $300 million from defaulted bonds.
A statement posted on the website of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez said they would return to training on November 5 following medical checks.
"When they return from their break, the midshipmen will resume training that will allow them to meet the objectives necessary to graduate as planned on December 8," the statement read.
Immigration officials processed 279 sailors for departure on Wednesday. A skeleton crew required for the essential maintenance of the ship remained behind.
Lieutenant Lucas Ciarroca said leaving the Libertad behind hadn't been easy.
"It was emotional, that's what I can say. It was sad of course, but there are 44 Marines on the boat still, the national flag is still on it. So Argentina is still there. The boat has its people, a few, but it has them and I think that it is a question of time. Everything is going to come out ok," he said.
Argentina's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman launched a diplomatic offensive in New York on Monday, urging top United Nations officials to pressure Ghana to release the ship.
The government of Argentina has rejected claims for debt repayment by NML Capital and other companies pursuing the South American nation in U.S. courts over its massive 2002 debt default, calling them "vulture funds."
Argentina's defence ministry initially filed a motion contesting the detention claiming sovereign immunity for the military vessel, but a court in Accra upheld the seizure as legal.
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