Argentina faces skeptical U.S. court over creditors' subpoenas
By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK Dec 17 (Reuters) - Argentina urged a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday to reverse a lower court decision requiring the country and various banks to provide holdout creditors with information about the country's assets including military equipment and diplomatic property.
Judges on 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York questioned if bondholders seeking full payment of debts after its $100 billion default in 2002 had made their information requests too broad. But the judges also expressed concerns that if they narrowed the order, Argentina would still defy it.
"You're not an ordinary litigant," Circuit Judge Barrington Parker said to Argentina's lawyer during oral arguments. "You're a pathological tactical litigant."
Argentina defaulted in July after refusing to honor orders barring it from paying holders of its restructured bonds without also paying $1.33 billion plus interest to holdout creditors including Elliott Management's NML Capital Ltd.
The holdouts declined to accept terms of 2005 and 2010 Argentina debt restructurings, in which it swapped about 92 percent of its bonds for new obligations.
Argentina's latest default came after it refused to obey U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa's order on paying the holdouts. Griesa in September held Argentina in contempt.
Argentina says it cannot pay the holdouts until the Dec. 31 expiration of a clause that prevents it from paying them on better terms than what it pays holders of restructured debt.
The appellate arguments stemmed from a 2013 ruling by Griesa compelling Argentina and 29 banks to comply with subpoenas and information requests by the holdouts aimed at finding assets to fulfill unpaid judgments. Continuación...