Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon an Israeli with US citizenship who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison after finding fines of cannabis plant in her luggage at Moscow airport.
The case of Naama Issachar caused a rare public dispute between Jerusalem and Moscow. Her family says the New Jersey-born woman has been punished more than she deserves to pressure Israel to release a Russian held in Israel at the request of the United States.
Naama was arrested in April after police found nine grams of cannabis plant in her luggage as she stopped at the airport en route from India to Israel.
She was sentenced on Friday for drug trafficking.
Netanyahu appears to rule out any exchange of Israeli prisoners in Russian custody, saying that the Israeli Supreme Court has approved his extradition to the United States.