Russian hacker moved to different holding cell to ensure his safety

Russia offered to free Na’ama Issachar in exchange for the hacker, but Israel declined the offer.

Naama Issachar, who was arrested by Russia and given seven-and-a-half years in prison for carrying cannabis. (photo credit: COURTESY OF FAMILY)
Naama Issachar, who was arrested by Russia and given seven-and-a-half years in prison for carrying cannabis.
(photo credit: COURTESY OF FAMILY)
Russian hacker Alexei Burkov, who was arrested upon entering Israel in 2015 at the request of the American security services for alleged online credit fraud involving US citizens, was moved to another holding cell where he can be better observed to ensure his safety, Channel 13 reported on Tuesday.
Burkov became famous when Russia offered to liberate a young Israeli woman, Na’ama Issachar, from Russian prison in exchange for the hacker. Israel, which had already agreed to extradite Burkov to the US to face trial, declined the offer.
When told of the Russian offer by her mother, Issachar asked: “Who is this person? What does he have to do with me?”
It has been suggested by Haaretz and Channel 13 that the reason the Russian Federation is so keen to have Burkov transferred back into their hands is that he has first-hand knowledge about Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections. Speaking with Channel 13, Burkov denied these speculations, calling them “a conspiracy theory.”
“I’m not a spy,” he said, “I've never worked for [Russian intelligence].”
Issachar was arrested after landing in Russia on a connecting flight from India to Israel after Russian authorities discovered nine grams of cannabis in her luggage. The luggage was being transferred from the incoming plane to the departing one when the drugs were discovered. Issachar herself claimed she did not know of the drugs – and her lawyer pointed out that she was unable to reach them, use them, or sell them to anyone during her stay at the airport.
The Russian authorities arrested her and, after being convicted in a trial, she was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for smuggling drugs into Russia. This despite the fact that she never left the airport, and that the amount found is nowhere near the usual amounts seen in international drug smuggling.
Her case has gained a great deal of sympathy in Israel and she is widely seen as a victim of Russian brutality and injustice. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent an official request to Russia asking that she be pardoned and allowed to return home. President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting she be freed. 
Her mother Yafa told Channel 13 that when she wanted to show her daughter a newspaper so that she can read what is being done for her, the warden took it away, telling her that only Russian language newspapers are allowed in.
“It is great everyone is talking and making their stand in the media,”  Issachar told her mother, “but I am still here.”
Her mother met with her on Monday for the first time since her seven-and-a-half-year sentencing.
She told Army Radio: "She doesn't understand who Alexei Burkov is and how he is related to her. For half a year already, she has been in a room with three other people; she sees the sky through bars and I bring her food. She doesn't tell me everything, but I can sense that there are better days and there are worse days."
Yafa continued, "She heard about President Rivlin's letter to Putin and told me, 'Mom, why do I need a pardon? It means I'm a criminal, which I'm not.'"