Bloomberg: Putin doesn’t want to release Israeli female condemned in case into illegal trafficking - not to make Netanyahu present
25-year-old Issachar was detained this spring when she was on her way back from India to Tel-Aviv with a transfer at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin refused to release a female citizen of Israel Naama Issachar in order not to improve the political rating of the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reports Bloomberg with reference to sources familiar with the discussion of the issue in Kremlin.
One source says that Putin does not want to make Netanyahu a present while the latter is “up in the air” in a political sense. Sources also assumed that Putin will decide the fate of Issachar himself after the political crisis in Israel is solved.
In September, Netanyahu met Putin in Sochi and asked the Russian leader to release Issachar, but Putin refused. In a few days after these negotiations, Netanyahu’s ruling political party Likud received less deputy’s seats that a center-left alliance Kaḥol Lavan.
25-year-old Issachar was detained this spring when she was on her way back from India to Tel-Aviv with a transfer at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. She was caught with 9.6 grams of hashish in the airport’s transit area. Initially, the woman was only convicted of drug possession (item 1 of article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Later, she was also accused of illegal drug-dealing. (item 2c of article 229.1 of the Criminal Code).
In a month after the meeting of the leaders, on October 11, Khimki District Court found Issachar guilty and sentenced to 7.5 years in a common regime colony. On October 15, Netanyahu sent a letter to the President of Russia with a request to grant the citizen of Israel a pardon.
After the sentence was delivered, it became known that the Russian authorities had suggested to swap Issachar for a hacker Aleksey Burkov who had been arrested under the U.S. request. Israel refused. On the night of November 12, the Russian was extradited to the United States.