22 January 2020, 17:53
Putin to meet with Patriarch Theophilos and mother of Israeli woman convicted in Russia
Moscow, January 22, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with the mother of an Israeli woman convicted in Russia during his visit to Israel to attend events commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.
"After separate talks with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, he and our president will together meet with Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine and with Jaffa Issachar, the mother of Israeli-U.S. citizen Naama Issachar," Ushakov told journalists at a briefing.
Patriarch Theophilos handed the mother's letter to Putin at their meeting in Moscow last November, Ushakov said. Additionally, Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin have repeatedly called for the release of the young woman.
"The humanitarian aspect of this issue will be considered at meetings that will be held by our president, the prime minister of Israel, the mother of this young woman, and Patriarch Theophilos," Ushakov said.
Issachar, 25, who has United States and Israeli citizenship, was detained in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in April 2019. She was changing planes in Moscow on her way from Delhi to Tel Aviv when security services detected nine grams of hashish in her checked baggage.
The woman denied involvement in drug smuggling and possession. She told the Moscow Regional Court that she had not bought the hashish and was unaware of having the drug in her bag. She also said that her earlier "admission" of drug possession was the result of a poor translation and that in fact she only agreed about the discovery of the drug in her backpack.
On October 11, 2019, the Moscow region's Khimki City Court found Issachar guilty of smuggling a considerable quantity of drugs and illegal possession of narcotic drugs and sentenced her to seven years and six months of imprisonment at a medium-security facility. On December 19, the ruling was upheld by Moscow regional court.
Last Tuesday, the Israeli media reported that Israel and Russia had agreed on the core issues relating to a possible pardon of Issachar by Russia and were now working through details.