Issachar to File Second Appeal

YERUSHALAYIM -
Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, last week. (Reuters/Evgenia Novozhenina)

Naama Issachar, an Israeli jailed in Russia on a drug charge, said on Tuesday she plans to file a second appeal after her first was rejected by a Moscow court last week.

“I won’t give up, even if we don’t believe in the [Russian] legal system. If I don’t appeal it as if I’m admitting guilt,” Yaffa Issachar quoted her daughter saying in an interview with Channel 12.

The comment followed a meeting with her daughter at the prison where she is being held earlier today.

In addition to taking her case to a higher-level Russian court, Issachar’s family is also considering the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, according to the network, which could garner more international attention to her plight.

Naama Issachar was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison after 9.5 grams of marijuana were found in her luggage during a layover in Moscow in April. She has already been behind bars for 9 months.

Issachar’s lawyer said that she was coerced into signing a confession which was printed in Russian without benefit of a translator. She claims innocence of the charge, that she did not put the drugs in her bag and knew nothing of it until the customs inspector found it.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ has pledged to do everything he can to secure her release. A letter signed by the prime minister and President Reuven Rivlin was sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking for a pardon, but no response has been heard from the Kremlin.

Putin is scheduled to be in Israel next month for the World Holocaust Forum and there are hopes he will free Issachar before that.