* US * RUSSIA * KUWAIT *
WASHINGTON, May 31 (Sputnik) – The next court appearance for Russian citizen Maria Lazareva, who was sentenced to a 10-year prison term for embezzlement in Kuwait, is scheduled for June 21, a US-based source close to Lazareva told Sputnik on Thursday.
Lazareva, vice president and managing director of KGL Investment (KGLI), was detained in Kuwait last November on accusations of stealing funds that the Kuwait Port Authority placed in an investment fund managed by KGLI. Earlier in May, a Kuwaiti court sentenced her to ten years in prison.
“Maria and her co-defendants had the first appeal hearing last Sunday. They asked for bail, but the judge denied has it. He set the next hearing day for June 21,” the source, who asked not to be identified, said.
The source said the lower court’s verdict was “full of factual and procedural errors.” Lazareva and her co-defendants, the source added, were not allowed to invite witnesses, had no time to review documentation, and were treated in an unprecedented manner by the Kuwaiti court.
In jail, Lazareva faced interrogations of up to ten hours without food and water or access to legal counsel or an interpreter, the source said.
Lazareva’s lawyers believe that certain forces linked to the Kuwaiti government are trying to pursue their own personal and commercial interests. The source declined to unveil the names but promised there would be a major revelation in the coming weeks.
The source added that Lazareva’s lawyers are going to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to support her.
“We are working on a direct appeal to President Putin in June,” the source said.
The source added that Lazareva’s legal team is in contact with the Russian Embassy in Kuwait and diplomats are monitoring the situation.