Venezuelan officials defended before an English court this Tuesday that the British government no longer recognizes Juan Guaidó as interim president and therefore judicial decisions that gave him control over gold deposits in London should be reviewed.
Ruling party and opposition since 2019 guedo They appeared before the British courts for control of over 30 tons of gold from state reserves worth $1.9 billion kept in the Bank of England.
In a complex succession of rulings, appeals and counter-appeals, the English justices determined that Guaidó was the country’s legitimate representative.
Also that the Ad Hoc Board of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) which it appointed, can instruct the Bank of England as a client.
And that the English justice did not recognize the decisions of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of Caracas, in which the said appointments were invalidated.
This final decision, made by Judge Sarah Cockerill of the Commercial Division of the London High Court in July 2022, was appealed by the pro-government BCV in October.
But while waiting for the Court of Appeal to analyze the case, the political reality in Venezuela changed.
In late December, the opposition assembly, elected in 2015 and still recognized by countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, who consider the 2020 legislative elections illegitimate, voted to dissolve Guaidó’s interim government. .
The decision was accepted by governments such as Washington and London, which recognized him as interim president in 2019.
“On January 31, 2023, the British Foreign Office wrote to Judge Cockerill without asking” and “declared that the government no longer considers Guaido ‘interim president’,” the lawyer defended Tuesday. Richard Lysack before three judges of the London Court of Appeal.
Lisack has represented the BCV’s official board of directors since 2019, which is headed by Calixto Ortega, who traveled from Caracas for this new chapter of the judicial saga.
The lawyer asked the magistrates to dismiss the appeal and send the case back to Cockerill for review. Since Guaidó is no longer “interim president”, “the right thing to do is to go back,” he said.
However, he failed to convince the judges, who decided to go ahead with the appeal regarding the TSJ’s ruling, hearings which will last until Thursday.