LONDON: Britain’s highest court was this week set to consider who the UK government recognises as president in economically-crippled Venezuela in a case that could determine the fate of gold worth $1.0 billion.
A UK legal battle lasting more than a year has ended up at the Supreme Court in London for four days of deliberations starting Monday. At the heart of the case is who has the power to direct the release of Venezuela’s gold reserves.
The Court of Appeal in October asked for a re-examination of a High Court judgement that said the UK government “unequivocally recognised” Venezuela’s opposition leader as president.
The High Court interpreted a statement by former foreign minister Jeremy Hunt as meaning London backed Juan Guaido as interim president.
The troubled Latin American country is currently led by President Nicolas Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez.
The UK court rulings have been made in connection with a dispute over gold reserves that Venezuela’s central bank wants the BoE to release.
The BoE said it could not act on the instructions because of competing claims for the presidency after disputed Venezuelan elections in 2018. — AFP