Jailed Israeli ‘believes’ Putin but has not requested pardon, causing delay

“I am still here, but I believe what Putin said: If he says everything will be OK, I believe everything will be OK,” Naama Issachar said.

By World Israel News Staff

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Kremlin, announced on Friday that the possible release of Naama Issachar, the Israeli woman imprisoned in Russia for drug possession, was being held up because she had not yet formally asked to be granted a presidential pardon.

On Thursday, Issachar was given permission to watch the broadcast of  the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and her mother Yaffa from her prison cell.

“I was very excited to see my mother meeting such important people,” Naama told a local Russian television crew. “I am still here, but I believe what Putin said: If he says everything will be OK, I believe everything will be OK.”

Tatyana Moskalkova, the Russian government’s Commissioner for Human Rights who was visiting Issachar in prison at the time, said that Issachar appears to be doing well and has no complaints about her treatment.

“Naama has everything she needs in her cell.  She is generally in a good mood and was inspired by what the president had said and optimistic about her return home soon,” Moskalkova said.

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The Russian president met with Issacher’s mother on Thursday together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Following the meeting, Putin told reporters, “I just met with Naama’s mother. It is clear that Naama comes from a very good family. The Prime Minister’s position is known to me – to decide appropriately. All of this will be taken into account when a decision is made.

“Her mother was very moving and supports her daughter. I said to her and I will say it again – everything will be alright,” he said.

Yaffa told Israeli media that Putin promised to release her daughter. “I’m optimistic. He’s lovely,” she said.

Issachar was arrested at Moscow’s international airport in April while waiting for a connecting flight on her way from a vacation in India. Russian authorities claimed that 9.2 grams of marijuana were found in her checked-in luggage. She was later sentenced to seven and a half years behind bars.