00:19 GMT01 December 2020
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    DOHA (Sputnik) - A criminal court in Kuwait on Monday sentenced Marsha Lazareva, a Russian-born, US-educated businesswoman to 15 years in prison on embezzlement charges.

    "To sentence the accused Marsha Lazareva to 15 years of imprisonment and hard labour works with immediate effect. She must return 719,000 Kuwaiti dinars [about $2.4 million) and also pay a fine of 2.138 million Kuwaiti dinars [over $7 million] together with another defendant in this case [Saeed Dashti. After serving her sentence, she will be deported from the country," the court said in a ruling.

    Lazareva, 44, was vice-chairman and managing director of KGL Investment, managing The Port Fund, whose investors included the Kuwait Ports Authority and the Kuwait Public Institution for Social Security.

    She was arrested in November 2017 and later sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hard labour after being found guilty of embezzlement during the construction of a port hub. She was released on bail on June 13, 2019 on an appeal by her international team of lawyers backed by a number of world's most powerful political figures and families.

    The Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry has repeatedly cited violations that the Kuwaiti court has committed in Lazareva's case, namely, by banning her defence from questioning witnesses and by distorting the defence's testimony in protocols of the hearings.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said following his visit to Kuwait in March that he had discussed the situation around Lazareva with local authorities and had asked his Kuwaiti counterpart to secure her rights.

    prison, business, Kuwait
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