If Putin does grant the pardon it will be the first time in history a Russian president has ever granted a pardon to a foreign-citizen convict.
By World Israel News Staff
The pardon to release Naama Issachar, the Israeli woman imprisoned in Russia for drug possession, reached Russian President Vladimir Putin’s desk after Moscow regional governor Andrei Vorobyev signed her pardon request on Tuesday.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s Tass news agency on Monday that Putin would make a decision “in the near future” on Issachar’s fate.
“We know that [Issachar’s pardon] appeal addressed to the head of state is ready,” he said. “Currently, the necessary legal procedures are being carried out for the president to make a decision on this matter in the near future.”
According to Issachar’s attorneys Alexei Koblenko as quoted by Haaretz, if Putin does grant the pardon it will be the first time in history a Russian president has ever granted a pardon to a foreign-citizen convict.
Optimism for Issachar’s release has grown ever since Putin told Issachar’s last week that “everything will be all right.”
In April, Issachar was heading back to Tel Aviv after a three-month vacation in India. She was arrested before her connecting flight in Moscow for possession of drugs after Russian authorities discovered 9.5 grams of marijuana in her luggage.
Despite her denial, Issachar was taken from the airport to a detention center in Moscow. She was then charged with drug possession, which often entails one month of detention, a fine and a ban on entering the country. However, shortly afterward, the public prosecutor changed the charge from drug possession to drug smuggling.
On Oct. 11, Issachar was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.