Russia Sentences U.S.-Israeli Woman to 7.5 Years Over Airport Marijuana Possession

Naama IssacharInstagram

A Russian court has sentenced a U.S.-Israeli woman to seven and a half years in prison on charges of drug possession and smuggling, her lawyer told Russian media Friday.

Police detained Naama Issachar, 25, in April while in transit in a Moscow airport and accused her of having 9 grams of cannabis in her bag, Israeli officials and Russian media have said. She had been flying from New Delhi to Tel Aviv.


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Issachar pleaded not guilty to the drug smuggling charges but didn’t deny that the cannabis in her bag was hers, the Mediazona news website reported.

Prosecutors had requested that she be sentenced to eight years.

Israel condemned the Russian court’s sentencing as “heavy” and “disproportionate,” saying Moscow had ignored its appeals to handle the case differently and that Issachar had no criminal record when she was detained.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working to secure Issachar’s release, his office said earlier Friday.

Netanyahu has twice discussed her case with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israel will “continue to exert every effort to free (her) and return her to her family,” it said in a statement.

Russia’s state-run RT media channel suggested on Thursday that Issachar might be released if Israel frees Alexei Burkov, a Russian national it detained in 2015. Israel said the United States wanted to extradite Burkov for suspected cybercrimes.

But the statement issued by Netanyahu’s office ruled out any such prisoner swap.

This story is being updated.

Reuters contributed reporting.



    • Yeah, compare a tourist with a little weed to this RuSSki hacker:
      “Aleksey Burkov, an IT specialist arrested in 2015 on U.S. charges of credit card fraud. Haaretz described Burkov as a hacker and said the involvement of heads of state and the dispute over extradition indicates that he is suspected of something beyond identity theft.”

  1. There’s nothing wrong with a little weed. I have done some time in prison for growing it in my basement years ago.

  2. Pootlerstan arseholes looking to make a statemet and get a barganing chip.
    Prudence would tell everyone not to do anything Pootlerstan could constrew as illegal. Actually, prdence would tell us not to go anywhere the moskalishiteaters congregate.

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