Naama Issachar returns to Israel
Naama Issachar returns to Israel צילום: חדשות 13

An Israeli-American woman pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week after being convicted of drug smuggling is planning on appealing her conviction, maintaining that she was innocent and wrongly convicted.

Naama Issachar, 26, was released from a Russian prison last week and returned to Israel after President Putin signed off on a presidential pardon, based on the recommendation of a Russian commission.

Issachar, who was jailed in Russia for roughly 10 months, had been convicted of drug smuggling, after she was arrested in a Moscow airport last April during a layover on her way back to Israel from India.

Authorities say they found nine-and-a-half grams of marijuana in her luggage, though Issachar has denied she packed any illegal materials in her bags. Issachar was convicted of drug smuggling and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Now that she has been released and returned to Israel, however, Issachar is planning to appeal her conviction, claiming she was wrongfully found guilty.

“They convicted an innocent woman,” Issachar’s attorney’s said Friday.

“The fact that she was given a pardon freed her from punishment, but that doesn’t mean her rights were violated.”

Issachar’s attorneys will file the appeal with the European Court of Human Rights, they said, in keeping with their client’s instructions.

“The defense team believes that the decisions [against Issachar] were illegal and unjust, and led to the conviction of an innocent woman.”

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