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30 Jul, 2008 15:04

Jailed Russian grandma to be swapped for Israeli mercenary?

A Russian-born grandmother who's serving a six-year prison sentence in Israel could soon be set free. 69-year-old Isabella Belfer was jailed for helping her daughter take her child to Moscow seven years ago, without permission from the girl's Israeli fath

The case raised concerns because of Isabella's age and state of health. Before her trial, she suffered a minor heart attack and had to undergo surgery.

But after more than six months behind bars, Belfer could be released in exchange for a former Israeli army officer who's being held in Russia. Yair Klein was arrested last year in Moscow under an Interpol warrant for allegedly helping Colombian terrorists.   

The speculation over a prisoner swap has been reported by an Israeli newspaper.

In 2001, Isabella helped her daughter Marina take six-year-old Lilach out of Israel, and the three moved to Moscow. When she returned to the country in 2006, Isabella was located by the girl's father, Yaron Rotem, who upon not being able to find Marina or Lilach, accused the grandmother of illegally taking his daughter away from him.