JERUSALEM – Russian President on Thursday reassured the mother of an Israeli-American backpacker currently in a Russian prison on drug smuggling charges that her daughter would be released.
Putin met with Yaffa Issachar and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter’s residence.
“Honored colleagues, friends. I just met with Naama’s mother. It is clear that Naama comes from a very good family,” Putin said in a statement.
“The Prime Minister’s position is known to me – to decide appropriately. All of this will be taken into account when a decision is made. Today, Naama will meet with the person responsible for maintaining human rights in Russia. Her mother was very moving and supports her daughter. I said to her and I will say it again – everything will be alright,” he said.
“We have just concluded an excellent working meeting between President Putin and myself. At its conclusion, President Putin asked to bring in Yaffa, Naama Issachar‘s mother. This was a very moving meeting. I am very grateful to you for this gesture, my friend the President,” he said in a statement.
Issachar, who was in Moscow for a stopover on her way back from India to Israel, received a 7.5 year prison sentence following a conviction of drug smuggling after she was found with 9 grams of marijuana in her suitcase.
Initially charged with cannabis possession, which carries a one month detention, the charge was upgraded in May to smuggling drugs – a far graver offence which carries with it a sentence of three to 10 years in prison. Issachar was sentenced in October.