Israeli president asks Putin to pardon imprisoned tourist

October 13, 2019 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s president has asked Russian leader Vladimir Putin to pardon a young Israeli woman imprisoned on drug charges in Russia.

Naama Issachar, 26, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison last week after being arrested at Moscow’s international airport in April reportedly with 9.6 grams of marijuana in her bag.

Israeli officials have indicated that Russia is using the case to push for the release of an alleged Russian hacker that Israel is in the process of extraditing to the U.S.

In a letter to Putin on Sunday, President Reuven Rivlin called the Russian sentence “severe” and said it would have a “deeply destructive impact on her life.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says he has also raised the matter with Putin.