Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara met Naama Issachar at the Moscow airport together with her mother Yaffa on Thursday. “It is very moving to see you. Now we return home,” the Prime Minister said.
Naama had been freed by a presidential pardon signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Naama had spent nearly 10 months in a Moscow prison, arrested in April 2019 and charged with drug dealing. She was then sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison – a verdict widely reviled in the press given the details of the case, particularly the small amount of marijuana found in her checked-on luggage. She denied having put it there.
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 9.2 ounces of marijuana in her luggage.
Despite denying she knew anything of the drugs, 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 October 11, Issachar was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.