The pardon came following a request by President Herzog to UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who agreed ‘as a gesture of good will,’ to release her
Israeli officials said Sunday the United Arab Emirates has pardoned an Israeli woman after initially sentencing her to death for drug possession, a case that tested the nascent ties between the two countries.
Fida Kiwan was arrested in early 2021 with half a kilogram (over 1 pound) of cocaine that she claimed did not belong to her, Israeli media reported. The UAE, which has harsh drug laws, later commuted the death sentence to life in prison.
Lior Haiat, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said Kiwan had returned to Israel overnight Saturday after the pardon.
The office of Israel’s ceremonial president, Isaac Herzog, said the pardon came following a request by Herzog to UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who agreed “as a gesture of good will,” to release her.