By Henry Windsor
Foreign Policy News
The latest hearing in the case of businesswoman Marsha Lazareva ended in agony for the defendant and those calling for her release when the judge recused himself without prior warning. The new judge confirmed that a trial hearing will take place this coming Sunday, but in front of the same judge who convicted her in May 2018, having denied her full access to documents and ‘singled her out’ as a woman. The evidence against Lazareva remains, in the words of lawyer Lord Carlile of Berriew, CBE QC, ‘unfortunately, outrageously and inexcusably false to its core’.
Lazareva, who is arguably the most successful foreign businesswoman working in the Middle East, remains in a cramped cell in the infamous Sulaibiya prison in Kuwait, despite the best efforts of political heavyweights and private citizens from Russia to the United States. Lord Carlile, who is part of the team representing Lazareva, is insistent that the charges of which she is accused—chiefly misusing public funds—are baseless, and that the ‘prosecutor effectively said so’. Indeed, as others have pointed out, it is not only the charges that are concerning but the manner in which Ms. Lazareva was arrested, tried and incarcerated.