The High Court of London ruled this Friday (29) in favor of the board of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) that was appointed by Juan Guaidó, leader opposing the regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro, in the case of the dispute over the control of Venezuelan gold deposited in the Bank of England.
After a four-day trial that ended in 18 In July, Judge Sara Cockerill, of the Court’s Commercial division, considered that she could not uphold the decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela (TSJ) that annulled Guaidó’s appointments to that council, as there is no legal basis in the United Kingdom for
However, the judge did not authorize the opponents to access the reserves – a decision will be determined at another hearing – despite the fact that the council formed by them is considered valid and Guaidó is recognized by the government of the United Kingdom as the only legitimate president of Venezuela, on an interim basis.
The BCV board appointed by N icolás Maduro, who disputes the control of the gold with the opposition leadership, told EFE that he is considering appealing the decision in August, when the legal deadline for this purpose will open.
The Supreme Court of The United Kingdom had already decided on a number of preliminary issues in the case in 2021.
The highest British court has established that the United Kingdom only recognizes Guaidó – and not Maduro – as head of government of Venezuela, and that, therefore, his acts and decisions must be considered sovereign, based on the local legal doctrine that obliges the British organs of State to proceed in a unified way in foreign policy.
Sarosh Zaiwalla, who is part of the legal team of the government of Nicolás Maduro in this case, considered it “regrettable” that the judge “has been constrained by technical rules”, developed “in different contexts” – in allusion to the existing jurisprudence – when evaluate the decisions of the Venezuelan Supreme Court that prohibit the Guaidó’s actions.
“The BCV will continue to litigate this case in court to ensure that Venezuela’s sovereign assets are preserved and safeguarded for the benefit of the people of Venezuela,” the lawyer said.
The lawsuit over access to gold began in 14 May 2021, when the president of the governing council of the BCV , Calixto Ortega, accused the Bank of England of breach of contract by failing to comply with its order to transfer 930 millions of euros in reserves to a UN fund to be used to fight Covid-19 in Venezuela.