Neil Bush, the son of the late President George H.W. Bush, told Newsmax TV he is trying to persuade Kuwait to free a Russian national and former U.S. green card holder from what he called false charges partly because the woman's 5-year-old son is a U.S. citizen and also because he is trying to protect Kuwait from making a mistake.
During an appearance on "America Talks Live," Bush told host John Cardillo that "unscrupulous forces" in the small oil-rich country are keeping Marsha Lazareva behind bars.
"As she succeeded in the investment in a real estate project in the Philippines, there were unscrupulous forces within Kuwait that wanted to freeze the funds that were otherwise to be distributed to the investors in that organization," Bush said.
"And there are a number of nefarious guesses for why that was happening. The money was frozen, and she was charged in Kuwait with embezzlement of those very same funds. So it was a clear fraud and faked-up charges."
Lazareva is a graduate of the Wharton Business School. Her 5-year-old son remains in Kuwait.
Bush, former FBI director Louis Freeh, former VA Secretary Jim Nicholson, former Rep. Ed Royce, and other international officials are working to get Lazareva — who is serving a 10-year sentence — freed.
"Part of my motivation, to be honest with you John, is that my dad, as the liberator — and he had lots of help — to his last day, was proud that Kuwait remained as an honorable and respected member of the international community," said Bush, referencing the 1991 Gulf War.
"I, as a member of this family, would hate to see a blemish on Kuwait's record. I'd hate to see our U.S.-Kuwaiti relations damaged by this incident. But there are forces within the government that are creating this horrible situation."
"They charged her with embezzlement of the very funds that they ordered to be frozen outside of Kuwait. So it's a ridiculous charge."
Officials will next hold a hearing for Lazareva on Easter Sunday. Bush said he wants to see Kuwait do what's right and set her free.
"The forces inside Kuwait that want Marsha retained are stronger than the government officials that we're working with up to this point," he said. "They really need to do the right thing and step up."
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