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December 9, 2019 3:12 pm

Lawyer for Israeli-American Woman Imprisoned in Russia Says Case May Be Resolved by ‘Political Influence’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Naama Issachar takes a selfie in Israel in this undated picture. Photo: Family photo Handout via Reuters / File.

A lawyer for an Israeli-American woman jailed in Russia said that her case would possibly be resolved through “political influence,” including a pardon from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Naama Issachar, 26, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years imprisonment two months ago for drug smuggling, a charge she vehemently denies. She was caught with a small amount of cannabis at a Russian airport as she waited for a connecting flight.

At a press conference in Israel, Issachar’s Russian lawyer Vadim Klyuvgant said, “Naama’s case will possibly be examined and brought to an end in Russia through some kind of political influence.”

Regarding the possibility of a pardon, he said, “In accordance with Russia’s constitution, the president is authorized to pardon any person without any conditions.”

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However, he added, “if we sit and deal with speculation, no miracle will happen,” and said the lawyers’ efforts will remain legal rather than political in nature.

At the moment, he noted, “I do not feel that there is any political involvement in the appeals process. When we feel that there is — we’ll report it.”

Issachar’s Israeli lawyer Avi Haim said, “I see Naama’s return home as soon as possible as a national mission of the first order.”

He also emphasized a legal rather than political strategy, saying, “We are dealing with legal matters not diplomatic matters. We believe that good professional skills can change judgments and get correct and just legal results.”

“We have approached all relevant organizations to deal with Naama’s imprisonment and convey a message that the State of Israel is standing behind her,” he stated.

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