22:45 GMT26 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Israeli national Naama Issachar has been released from a Russian penal colony, where she served a term on drug-related charges, after having been pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service said on Thursday.

    "Naama Issachar has been released from the penitentiary facility in accordance with the 67th pardon decree by the president of the Russian Federation issued on January 29," the Federal Penitentiary Service said in a statement.

    Issachar, who has dual Israeli-US citizenship, was arrested in April during a layover in a Moscow airport, while she was on her way to Israel from India. Police found around nine grams of cannabis in her bags.

    Issachar was found guilty of drug smuggling and sentenced to 7.5 years in prison. The young woman admitted she had transported drugs but for her own use, not trafficking.

    The penalty has been harshly criticized in Israel as disproportionate since the amount of drugs found is allowed for personal use in Israel, while it is considered illegal in Russia.

    pardon, Vladimir Putin, custody, Russia, Israel
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