KRASNOGORSK /Moscow Region/, January 27. /TASS/. The Moscow Region’s commission for pardons has approved a plea for pardon from Israeli national Naama Issachar, who was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison in Russia on drugs smuggling charges, Ekaterina Semyonova, the commission’s deputy chairperson and Moscow Region’s human rights ombudswoman, told journalists on Monday.
"We received Naama’s plea for pardon today. She [Naama Issachar — TASS] partially admits her guilt. But she pleads not guilty on smuggling charges. She had no such malicious intent. Hence, after considering her character reference from the prison, which is positive, the commission took a decision to satisfy this plea for pardon," she commented following the commission’s meeting.
According to Semyonova, the pardon appeal protocol act was signed unanimously. The document will be referred to Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyev on Tuesday.
Naama Issachar, 25, 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, Article 228 and part 2, Article 229.1 of the Russian Criminal Code) and sentenced her to 7.5 years in a standard regime penal colony. Issachar admitted her guilt of possessing the drug but denied smuggling charges, saying she had no access to her luggage checked in for the transit flight. She claimed she never took drugs and had no idea of how the cannabis could happen to be in her backpack. The Moscow Regional Court upheld the verdict on December 19.
During his visit to Israel last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Naama’s mother, Jaffa Issachar, and promised her that "everything is going to be fine."