MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree pardoning Israeli national Naama Issachar, who was serving a sentence in Russia for drug smuggling, the Kremlin press service informed on Wednesday.
"Guided by the principles of humanity, I decree to pardon Naama Issachar, born in 1993, sentenced on October 11, 2019 by the Khimki City Court of the Moscow Region, releasing her from serving the rest of her sentence," the message informs.
The decree enters into force on the day of its signing.
Naama Issachar, an Israeli and US national, was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on April 9, 2019, when she was in the airport’s transit zone before boarding a connecting flight to Tel Aviv after arriving from New Delhi. The airport’s security guards found 9.6 grams of cannabis in her luggage.
On October 11, 2019, the Khimki City Court in the Moscow Region found Issachar guilty of drug possession and smuggling (Part 1, Section 228 and Part 2, Section 229.1 of the Russian Criminal Code) and sentenced her to 7.5 years in a standard regime penal colony. The Moscow Regional Court upheld the verdict on December 19.
During a visit to Jerusalem on January 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Issachar’s mother, assuring her that "everything will be alright" regarding her daughter. "I am aware of the position of [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] who asks to make an appropriate decision. All that will certainly be taken into account when the final decision is made," Putin said. On January 26, Issachar made an official pardon appeal.