TRUMP PARDONS ISRAELI DRUG SMUGGLER ON CHILDREN’S REQUEST
US President Donald Trump pardoned Israeli-born Ronen Nahmani on Monday, who had served four years of a 20-year sentence for conspiracy to distribute synthetic drugs he bought from suppliers in China.
Trump’s pardon followed a request by Nahmani’s children and also because of his sick wife, Ruth, who is suffering from terminal cancer.
Ronen’s three children, Ariella (11), Oriel (10) and Danielle (8), each wrote a letter to Trump requesting his presidential pardon.
“My mom is always sad and cries,” Oriel’s letter read, according to Ynet. “She is always sick and doesn’t have strength. Today’s my birthday. I am 10 and half of my life I had no dad. Please let my dad come. You will make me the happiest kid in the world.”
“Our lives have become so sad and miserable,” Ariella wrote. “And now my mother being sick, I am scared of her getting worse. Without her, the world will be a place where I won’t be able to exist.”
“Today, President Donald J. Trump commuted the prison sentence of Ronen Nahmani, an action strongly supported by many notable leaders from across the political spectrum, like representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Mark Meadows,” according to a White House statement.
“Mr. Nahmani is a non-violent, first-time offender with no criminal history. He has five young children at home and his wife is suffering from terminal cancer. These extenuating circumstances underscore the urgency of his request for clemency.”
Nahmani’s prosecutors argued that he should be sentenced to at least 10 years in prison, but the judge then dismissed the statement, saying the defendant showed no remorse or concern for his victims who used the synthetic drug.
Fighting for Nahmani’s sentence to be shortened were first-rate lawyers, including Alan Dershowitz and Gary Apple, who previously represented American Chabad member Sholom Rubashkin, who was also released from prison following Trump’s intervention. The president dismissed Rubashkin’s sentence in December 2017 and he was subsequently released from prison.
“This is a real case of pikuach nefesh (saving of life), because there are children here whose mother is seriously ill with cancer and whose father would have been in prison – and in the event the mother were to [pass away, they] would have been all alone,” Dershowitz told Hamodia.
“So what President Trump did was the right thing; he ought to be praised for saving lives and doing a mitzvah (commandment). This was a team effort involving lots of people, including Gary and many others who acted selflessly to bring about this pidyon shivuyim [redemption of captives]. And I think it will be an important part of President Trump’s legacy that he did the right thing for the right reasons.”
Behind the campaign for Nahmani’s release was Moshe Morgatran, a New York Skver chassid follower.
Nahmani, who also holds Israeli citizenship, may return to Israel with his family.