WASHINGTON, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Crowell & Moring, counsel for Marsha Lazareva, announces that Marsha Lazareva, CEO and Vice Chairman of KGL Investment, was finally released from a Kuwaiti prison after her conviction and that of her co-defendant, Saeed Dashti, were quashed nearly six weeks ago by the Kuwait Court of Appeal based on violations of Kuwaiti law.
Ms. Lazareva, a prominent executive, and Mr. Dashti, the former Chairman of Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Co., each have spent a total of 474 days in prison. Mr. Dashti remains in prison notwithstanding a court order for his release on bail.
On June 5, 2019, the court ordered Lazareva released on KWD 1 million ($3.3 million) bail, and Dashti released on KWD 10 million ($33 million), amounts that were previously deposited with the court in connection with a February 2018 bail deal. However, Kuwait Attorney General Dherar Al-Assousi insisted that, contrary to the court's order, the two must pay an additional KWD 1 million and KWD 10 million on top of the record-setting bail amounts already paid.
While Ms. Lazareva posted her bail leading to her release, Mr. Dashti remains imprisoned unless he posts an additional $33 million, a move that appears designed to keep him incarcerated. The Attorney General's rationale for effectively doubling their bail remains unclear and is the latest example of procedural and legal irregularities that have plagued the case from the beginning.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 23rd, with former FBI Director Louie Freeh and former FBI forensic accountant Daniel Gill scheduled to testify in support of the defendants. The two have travelled twice to Kuwait to testify, but the court declined to hear their testimony and provided no explanation for that decision.
Ms. Lazareva's release comes at a sensitive time for Kuwait as it holds the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council and prepares for a high-profile role promoting the country in London at The Arab British Economic Summit 2019.
Ms. Lazareva has filed an investment arbitration complaint against Kuwait in connection with her imprisonment and arbitrary treatment. She has also filed complaints with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) and UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.
"I am very pleased to hear of Marsha Lazareva's release from jail," said Neil Bush, a member of the consulting team working to exonerate Lazareva and Dashti. "She will now be reunited with her son and family after 474 days of reprehensible captivity. Saeed Dashti needs to be released immediately as the charges against Marsha and Saeed have proven to be baseless and relied on forged evidence. When the court reviews new evidence on June 23rd it will have no choice but to drop the charges, lift the travel bans, return the excessive bail, and affirm Kuwait's interest in protecting human rights to the world community."
"Given that Marsha's underlying conviction has been quashed, it is about time she was released; her detention has been arbitrary and totally unwarranted," said Cherie Blair, a prominent human rights attorney representing Lazareva and Dashti. "Finally, she can be reunited with her family. This is certainly not the end of the road, but it is a step in the right direction."
SOURCE Crowell & Moring