The High Court in London ruled against the cash-strapped Maduro government on Thursday, with judge Nigel Teare saying that Guaidó had been “unequivocally recognized” as president of Venezuela by the UK government.
Guaidó’s representative to London hailed the verdict.
“It is a victory for the Venezuelan people and rule of law and demonstrates the importance of separation of powers,” the envoy, Vanessa Neuman, told CNN. “The gold is where it has always been, in the [Bank of England]. It is Maduro who sought to remove it and we have protected it for the people.”
The Venezuelan Central Bank said it would appeal the ruling.
“The [central bank] will immediately appeal the absurd and unusual decision by an English court which intends to deprive the Venezuelan people of gold which is so urgently needed to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic,” it said in a tweet on Thursday.
Maduro’s representatives in court called the ruling “unsatisfactory.”
“It is very rare for a case of such international legal importance to be decided by reference to legal questions alone without taking into account the facts on the ground,” lawyer Sarosh Zaiwalla said in a statement.
The Bank of England previously told CNN that it “does not comment on individual customer relationships.”
The bank holds around 400,000 bars of gold in its vaults, worth over £200 billion ($244.6 billion), according to its website. That makes it the second largest keeper of gold in the world after the New York Federal Reserve.