You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

UK court overturns Venezuela judgment in $1 billion gold tug-of-war

The BCV sued the Bank of England in May to recover control of the gold, which it says it will sell to finance Venezuela's response to the coronavirus pandemic

Topics
Venezuela | Britain | Bank of England

Reuters  |  LONDON 

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Marc Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - A tug-of-war over $1 billion (£770.4 million) worth of Venezuelan gold stored at the took a new turn on Monday as the English Court of Appeal overturned an earlier High Court ruling on who the UK recognised as Venezuela's president.

The Court of Appeal granted the Nicolas Maduro-backed Banco Central de Venezuela's (BCV) appeal and set aside July's High Court judgement, which had found that Britain's recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaidó as "constitutional interim president of Venezuela" was conclusive.

The BCV sued the in May to recover control of the gold, which it says it will sell to finance Venezuela's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The BoE has refused to release the gold, however, after the British government in early 2019 joined dozens of nations in backing Guaido on the basis that Maduro's election win the previous year had been rigged.

Monday's decision means the case now goes back to the High Court for it to determine more definitively which of the two rival leaders is in charge.

Monday's judgment said it was necessary to determine whether "(1) the UK government recognises Mr Guaidó as President of for all purposes and therefore does not recognise Mr Maduro as President for any purpose.

"Or (2) HMG (the UK government) recognises Mr Guaidó as entitled to be the President of and thus entitled to exercise all the powers of the President but also recognises Mr Maduro as the person who does in fact exercise some or all of the powers of the President of "

Vanessa Neumann, the ambassador designated by Guaidó for and Ireland, told reporters that the court could issue a new pronouncement within a week or two, but added that the process could be delayed by other appeals.

The BCV has said the proceeds from the sale of the gold would be transferred directly to the United Nations Development Programme to procure humanitarian aid, medicine and equipment to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Central Bank of Venezuela reaffirms that it will continue carrying out all actions necessary to protect its sovereign reserves and the sacred patrimony of the Republic," it wrote in a statement in response to the decision.

Venezuela's opposition has alleged that Maduro wants to use the money to pay off his foreign allies, which his lawyers deny.

Over the past two years, Maduro's government has taken some 30 tonnes from its local gold reserves to sell abroad for much-needed hard currency, according to people familiar with the operations and the bank's own data.

 

(Reporting by Marc Jones; additional reporting by Corina Pons, Editing by Kevin Liffey and Sonya Hepinstall)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, October 06 2020. 08:15 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.