(Bloomberg) -- The Venezuelan opposition, led by Juan Guaido, sought to intervene in a legal fight between the country’s central bank and the Bank of England over access to $1 billion in gold reserves.
At a remote hearing Thursday in London, a lawyer acting for the Venezuelan government-appointed central bank said the BOE wanted to postpone the proceedings “to permit Mr. Guaido to intervene and to lay claim to the central bank’s gold.”
The Venezuelan bank asked the BOE to liquidate the gold and send the funds to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which is working with the country to prepare for an increase in Covid-19 cases. While the coronavirus pandemic adds a dramatic new twist to the dispute, the lawsuit is part of a long-running fight over the funds related to American efforts to cut off President Nicolas Maduro’s regime from its overseas assets.
In response, the BOE said it was “caught in the middle” of conflicting claims. “The regrettable, irregular, and unrealistic approach adopted by the Maduro Board in these proceedings leaves the BOE unacceptably exposed,” the bank’s attorney Brian Kennelly said.
The judge adjourned the hearing for a week.
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