TEL AVIV, October 15. /TASS/. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent an official appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon Naama Issachar, a US-Israeli dual citizen, who was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison in Russia on drugs smuggling charges, the office of the Israeli prime minister said on Tuesday.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu sent an official request, on his behalf and that of President Reuven Rivlin, to Russian President Vladimir Putin, for a pardon for Naama Issachar and her return to Israel," it said.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin wrote on his Twitter account on October 13 he had appealed to the Russian leader asking to pardon Issachar. "I appealed to President [Vladimir] Putin of Russia, as a friend of the Jewish People and of the State of Israel, regarding Naama Issachar. Although Naama has made a grave mistake and admitted it, such a long sentence could have a terrible impact on her life," his tweet reads.
On October 11, the Khimki City Court in the Moscow Region sentenced Issachar to 7.5 years in a standard regime penal colony on the charges of drug possession and smuggling. Issachar, 25, was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on April 9 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. Issachar admitted her guilt of possessing the drug but denied smuggling charges.