Is Russia holding Israeli woman in attempt to free Russian hacker?

Russia’s Foreign Ministry offered to swap Naama Issachar for a Russian hacker held by Israel, according to a report.

By World Israel News Staff

Russia’s Foreign Ministry offered Israel a deal in which it would exchange imprisoned Israeli Naama Issachar for Russian hacker Alexei Burkov, according to Israel’s Channel 13 on Friday, citing a report from Russian news site RT.

Burkov, a Russian national, was arrested in Israel in 2015 on a warrant by Interpol. He was wanted for embezzling millions using credit cards of American citizens.

Issachar, an Israeli woman traveling through Moscow from India, was arrested for having in her possession 9 grams of marijuana. She claims the marijuana, found in her luggage, wasn’t hers and she has no idea how it got into her baggage.

Despite the relatively small amount of the drug, Russian authorities upped the charges from drug possession to drug smuggling. She has been held for six months in a Russian prison and faces a possible prison term of eight years.

Her mother Yaffa Issachar “has only been allowed to see her daughter four times and speak with her on the phone twice in four-and-a-half months,” website Heavy reports.

The Russian Embassy in Israel told Channel 13, “We are following the ruling that will be made today on Naama Issachar. We have not received a proposal for a deal to release her from the Israeli side in exchange for hacker Alexei Burkov.”

Burkov’s lawyer Michael Ironi, said, “This is a Russian citizen, originally a Jew, who came to Israel during a vacation and was arrested.”