UK court rules against Maduro in Venezuela gold case
The London Superior Court ruled this Friday (29) in favor of the board of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) that was appointed by Juan Guaidó, a leader opposed to the regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro, in the case of the dispute over the control of Venezuelan gold. deposited at the Bank of England.
After a four-day trial that ended on July 18, Judge Sara Cockerill, of the court’s Commercial division, ruled that she could not uphold the decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela (TSJ) that nullified Guaidó’s appointments to that council. , as there is no legal basis in the UK to do so.
However, the judge did not authorize opponents to access the reservations – 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 UK government as the only legitimate president of Venezuela, in interim character.
The BCV board appointed by Nicolás Maduro, which disputes the control of the gold with the opposition leadership, told Efe Agency that it is considering appealing the decision in August, when the legal deadline for this purpose will open.
The UK Supreme Court had already ruled on a number of preliminary issues in the case in 2021.
The highest British judicial instance established that the United Kingdom only recognizes Guaidó – and not Maduro – as Venezuela’s head of government, and that, therefore, his acts and decisions must be considered sovereign, based on the local legal doctrine that obliges the British state bodies to proceed in a unified way in foreign policy.
Sarosh Zaiwalla, who is part of the legal team of Nicolás Maduro’s government in this case, considered it “regrettable” that the judge “has been constrained by technical rules”, developed “in different contexts” – in allusion to existing jurisprudence – when evaluating the decisions of the Venezuelan Supreme Court that prohibit 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 on May 14, 2020, when the chairman 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 million euros in reserves. for a UN fund to be used to fight Covid-19 in Venezuela.