Israeli backpacker jailed in Russia files for pardon

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MOSCOW (AP) – An Israeli woman jailed in Russia on drug charges has submitted a petition to be pardoned by President Vladimir Putin.

State news agency Tass reported Sunday that Naama Issachar’s lawyer said the request was filed following a statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov that she couldn’t be pardoned without making a personal appeal.

The 26-year-old backpacker was arrested in April at a Moscow airport, where she was transferring en route from India to Israel. Russian authorities said more than nine grams of hashish were found in her luggage. She was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to Putin to pardon Issachar.

While in Israel last week, Putin met Issachar’s mother and told her “everything will be alright.”

FILE – In this file photo taken on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, Israeli Naama Issachar gestures during an appeal hearings in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia. Israeli Issachar jailed in Russia on drug charges has submitted a petition to be pardoned by President Vladimir Putin. State news agency Tass reported Sunday that Naama Issachar’s lawyer said the request was filed following a statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov that she could not be pardoned without making a personal appeal.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr., File)
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