NEW YORK, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Argentina has filed papers to appeal a U.S. judge’s order finding the country in contempt for taking steps to evade his orders in a long-running dispute with hedge funds suing over defaulted debt.
Argentina late on Monday filed a notice of an appeal of a contempt finding by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan and his subsequent order that it must “reverse entirely” actions it had taken in violation of his decisions.
Any appeal would be heard by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Griesa has yet to decide what sanctions should be imposed on the Argentina after in September finding it had taken “illegal” steps to evade his orders.
Representatives for the hedge funds and Argentina’s U.S. lawyers did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Argentina defaulted in July after refusing to honor court orders to pay $1.33 billion plus interest to U.S. hedge funds suing for full payment on bonds following its earlier 2002 default.
The hedge funds, led by NML and Aurelius Capital Management, had spurned the country’s 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings, which resulted in exchanges for about 92 percent of the country’s defaulted debt.
Investors who exchanged bonds were paid less than 30 cents on the dollar.
The country’s most recent default came after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Argentina’s appeal of a ruling that it must pay the holdouts when it paid holders of the exchanged bonds.
Griesa subsequently blocked Bank of New York Mellon Corp from processing a $539 million interest payment on what the country says is over $28 billion in debt. The order sent Argentina on a course to default after no settlement was reached.
Argentina’s appeal came shortly after Griesa earlier Monday issued an order giving a court-appointed mediator in the dispute, Daniel Pollack, broad authority to grant other investors a seat at the negotiating table to discuss a settlement.
Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof told Mexico’s left-leaning La Journada Newspaper, in published comments on Monday that the chances of a deal will improve when the RUFO clause expires. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York Editing by W Simon)