Maduro Allowed to Appeal Part of Venezuela’s $1 Billion Gold Case in the UK

Maduro Allowed to Appeal Part of Venezuela’s $1 Billion Gold Case in the UK

The High Court of London has authorized this Friday the appeal presented by the Administration of the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro against the ruling that granted the “ad hoc” team of the opposition Juan Guaidó control over the reserves of Venezuelan gold deposited in the Bank of England (BoE).

Thus, Judge Nigel Teare, from the Commercial and Property Division of the Superior, has allowed the board of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) appointed by Maduro, chaired by Calixto Ortega – loser in the previous process -, to present his case before the Court of Appeals, according to sources informed by the legal team of this directive.

According to these sources, Teare has accepted that a “partial appeal” be filed, that is, that only part of the opinion that he issued on July 2, which refers to the question of “can be re-examined” justiciability “.

The Court of Appeals will have to decide at a future date whether Teare was correct when he dictated, as part of his sentence, that Guaidó’s acts and appointments as “interim president of Venezuela” (as recognized by the United Kingdom Government) are not “justiciable” in England, that is, they should not be scrutinized even though they have been declared illegal by the Venezuelan Justice.

Sarosh Zaiwalla, director of the Zaiwalla & Co law firm, which represents Maduro’s team, welcomed the authorization of a partial appeal, but announced that he will ask the Court of Appeals to accept “a more complete review of the opinion”, since he considers that there are issues in it that are “between law and politics,” he said in a statement.

On July 2nd, Teare determined that it is the BCV “ad hoc” board appointed by Guaidó, chaired by Ricardo Villasmil, and not the official headed by Ortega, which can access the 31 Venezuelan gold bars, valued at 1,300 million of dollars, which keeps the BoE.

The magistrate considered that the British Government has recognized “unequivocally” Guaidó as “interim constitutional president” of the South American country and it is therefore the board designated by him that has authority over the reserves.

He also dictated that “it is not justiciable” -that is, that the English court does not have the power to submit to examination- the legality, according to Venezuelan law, of the appointments to the BCV board made by the opposition leader, which were declared invalid by the Supreme Court of Caracas.

During the process, Maduro’s board attorney, Nick Vineall, argued that although the London government stated in a statement in 2019 that it recognized Guaidó as “interim constitutional president until credible elections are held,” in practice ” maintains diplomatic ties “with the Maduro Executive, although he does not approve it.

Andrew Fulton, on the part of the Guaidó junta, maintained that the British Executive clearly recognizes the opponent as head of the State of Venezuela and therefore the Court must do the same based on the doctrine of “one voice” applicable in the Kingdom United, which forces state institutions to maintain a unified position in foreign policy.

Teare was to establish which board is the legitimate one to advance the lawsuit filed in May against the BoE by Ortega, which accuses the British central bank of violating the contract by failing to comply with its order to transfer 930 million euros of the reserves to a fund of the UN to be used in the fight against COVID-19 in Venezuela.