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Naama Issachar freed from Russian prison

Source: Interfax

Israeli citizen Naama Issachar, who was convicted on drug possession and contraband charges in Russia before receiving a presidential pardon January 29, has been freed, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service told Interfax.

The news agency did not reveal the precise time when Issachar was released from the prison colony where she had begun serving her sentence in the Moscow region. The charges against her, which rested on hashish found in her checked luggage during a layover, have drawn sharp criticism since they were announced in spring 2019.

After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin requested Issachar’s release in writing, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the young woman’s mother during a January 23 visit to Jerusalem that “everything [would] be okay” in her daughter’s case. Subsequently, Issachar signed a formal petition to request a pardon, which Kremlin officials said she had previously refused to do.

Netanyahu will be visiting Moscow on January 30 and is expected to return to Israel with Issachar.

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