Avigdor Liberman lobbying for release of Naama Issachar from Russian jail

Issachar appealed for her release last week but the appeal was denied.

Israel's Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Liberman, 2011 (photo credit: JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/REUTERS)
Israel's Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Liberman, 2011
Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman is reportedly using his private contacts in Russia to help secure the release of Israeli Naama Issachar, The Jerusalem Post's sister paper Maariv first reported.
Last week, the Russian court dismissed an appeal filed by Issachar’s lawyer to reduce her seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for allegedly smuggling drugs into Moscow. She has denied the charges.
Liberman declined to comment on his efforts. However, sources close to the party leader told Maariv that he was directly involved in the release of a number of Israelis in the past from Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Romania and even Libya. Most recently, Liberman played a role in the release of the body of Sgt. Zachary Baumel.
In addition, Liberman helped orchestrate the release of Rafael Haddad, who was arrested in 2010 after spending five months in a Libyan prison. He was arrested by Libyan police while photographing a building that once belonged to the Jewish community in Libya. It was after Liberman contacted senior officials in the country that Israel and Libya reached an agreement regarding his release.
All of Liberman's efforts have been done under the radar and without publication in media. Liberman's associate told Maariv that efforts are kept quiet because "public statements and media noise, in Liberman's opinion, only interfere with the real and delicate activity of releasing prisoners."
It should be recalled that in a special interview between Maariv and Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov, which was published last weekend, he strongly criticized the conduct of Israeli officials in the Issachar affair. He said that senior officials “arrogantly interfered."
As mentioned, last Thursday, the Moscow court decided to dismiss Issachar’s appeal. She has been imprisoned since April after 9.5 grams of marijuana was found in her bag.
Translated by Maayan Hoffman.