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Venezuelan gold litigation to return to UK court next week

Christian Fernsby ▼ | September 20, 2020
The UK's Court of Appeal will hear next week the claim of the Venezuelan government against the Bank of England for refusing to hand over the Venezuelan gold reserves, Venezuela's attorneys announced.
Bank of England
Venezuelan   Bank of England
According to a press release sent to Prensa Latina by the London Zaiwalla and Co company, which represents the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV), the appeal hearing will take place between September 22 and 24 in London.

Topics: Venezuela

On July 2, the British justice ruled against the BCV in the lawsuit against the Bank of England, determining that the gold valued at over 1.2 billion dollars must be delivered to the board appointed by the self-proclaimed Venezuela's president, Juan Guaido.

According to the British judge who presided over the case, Guaido was 'unequivocally' recognized as the legitimate president of the Venezuela in 2019 by the then UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt.

The BCV's lawyers argue, however, that London never broke diplomatic relations with the government of the Venezuelan Constitutional President Nicolas Maduro and that both countries maintain their respective ambassadors in London and Caracas.

One of the key points that will be decided in this appeal is whether the Bank of England should accept the instructions on the allocation of the gold from the current president of the Venezuelan bank, elected under Venezuelan law, or from a virtual president appointed by Guaido, who even does not live in Venezuela, the press release pointed out.

The company's lead counsel, Sarosh Zaiwalla, commented, meanwhile, that the case calls into question the international perception that UK institutions are free from political interference, and the Bank of England's reputation as a safe custodian of wealth from other countries.

Zaiwalla also recalled that the BCV's main interest in recovering its gold reserves is to obtain funds that would be channeled through the United Nations Development Programme to buy essential equipment and medicines to fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the country.