Justice Minister: I hope US will intervene for Naama Issachar

"I suppose the US has an interest that Naama not sit in Russian prison," Minister Ohana says, noting her dual US-Israel citizenship.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Naama Issachar
Naama Issachar
picture used with permission of family

Justice Minister Amir Ohana expressed his hope that the US government could be enlisted to help secure the release of Naama Issachar from Russian custody due to her dual American-Israeli citizenship.

"I suppose the Americans have a vested interest that Naama not sit in Russian prison and I hope and believe there will be interference on their part too," Ohana said in an interview with Yaron Vilensky on Channel 12 News, saying that Israel is doing its best to secure Naama's release.

On April 9, Naama Issachar boarded a flight from India on her way back to Israel. During a stop in Moscow, security officials detained her at the airport, after finding 9.5 grams of cannabis in her suitcase.

She was taken away for questioning 24 hours later, and on Friday was handed a 7.5-year prison sentence for drug smuggling. In recent months, Issachar has found herself being held as a pressure tactic on Israel to release Russian hacker Alexei Burkov, who is wanted for extradition by the United States.

The American context for Naama's incarceration case is the Russian hacker held by Israel for over three years who may be extradited to the US.

Russia has asked Israel not to extradite the hacker to the US, and many are linking the high sentence imposed by the Russian court to Naama Issachar, seven and a half years in prison, for with Russian attempt to exert pressure on Israel to hand over the hacker to Russia.

Minister Ohana clarified that a decision on the hacker's case will be made by him in the next few days or weeks. When asked if he intends to exert pressure on Washington to waive extradition for Naama's release, he said that the hope is for American intervention in Naama's favor, among other things, because she is also an American citizen.

According to the Supreme Court's decision, Israel must extradite the hacker into the US on whose land the offenses were committed for his imprisonment.