Russian court rejects Naama Issachar’s appeal despite doubts about confession

A Russian court turned down an Israeli tourist’s appeal of her prison sentence, despite testimony that called into question whether her alleged confession was voluntary.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Naama Issachar was arrested in April at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, where she was transferring flights while traveling from India to Israel.

Russian authorities said marijuana was found in her luggage. Issachar was later sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.

According to a Ynet report, when the judge noted that the 26-year-old had partially confessed to the original charges of drug possession and smuggling, Issachar responded that she had never admitted to those charges.

On Thursday, she told the court she wasn’t provided with a translator or a lawyer after being detained, when she was asked to sign her confession. This would mean that she did not understand its contents, and she maintained that it was possible that the confession was forged.

Despite this testimony, the court let her sentence stand.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon Issachar.