[QODLink]
Americas
Argentina replaces navy chief over ship row
The snap decision by the president follows Ghana's seizure of a naval training ship over a debt dispute.
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2012 18:54
'Libertad' is being held in Ghana as collateral for a case filed in Ghana by a vulture fund involving Argentinian bond debts. [GALLO/GETTY]

The commander of Argentina's navy has resigned after the government punished two naval officers over Ghana's seizure of a three-masted tall ship over a dispute with creditors.

The resignation on Monday came in response to the "Libertad" training ship being retained in the Ghanaian port of Tema near the capital Accra since October 2.

A spokesperson from President Cristina Kirchner's office issued an abrupt statement on Monday to confirm that navy commander Admiral Carlos Alberto Paz had been replaced, without stating the reason for the decision.

A defence ministry statement said the former organisational chief of the navy, Alfredo Mario Blanco, was being investigated for changing the ship's itinerary, citing "operational reasons".

The navy's secretary general, Admiral Luis Gonzalez, was also suspended and is the subject of the investigation.

Earlier, two officers had also been suspended by the Argentine defence ministry over the decision to have the Libertad stop over in Accra with more than 300 people on board.

The vessel is being held due to investors filing a lawsuit in Accra to hold the Libertad as collateral pending payment of debts on Argentinian bonds which the government has defaulted on.

A supposed "vulture fund" called NML Capital had purchased Argentine bonds at a discount when the country's economy was in free fall in 2000.

NML Capital has since filed a claim in a Ghanaian court claiming it is owed more than $370 million, including the outstanding principle plus the interest.
 
The majestic square-rigged ship used now by graduating Argentine naval cadets, established the world record in 1966 for a transatlantic crossing by a sailing ship.

According to media sources, in 2011 the ship specifically made stops in the Latin American region, a move aimed at a dodging any lawsuits over unpaid debt.

However in 2012 the ship toured Latin America, Europe and several ports in Africa before being seized in Ghana.

313

Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list