Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS
Penprapa Vongkovit, Thai Ambassador to Israel, Officially starts his new position during Ceremony at President of Israel's official Residence. May 16, 2017.

An Israeli man imprisoned in Thailand will be allowed to serve the remainder of his four-year-sentence in Israel after Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin successfully lobbied the Thai authorities on his behalf.

Nati Hadad was arrested in 2017 and sentenced a year after for running an illegal medical clinic (Koh Samui Search and Rescue medical center) and a firearms offense. Hadad has two years of his sentence remaining which he will now serve in Israel after first petitioning Rivlin to assist him a year ago.

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The President had first asked the Thai king for a royal pardon in June 2019, citing Hadad’s “critical medical and mental state,” who had reportedly attempted to commit suicide in prison.

Rivlin thanked the Thai king and credited Member of Knesset (MK) Ayelet Shaked who was the Justice Minister when Israel launched the process of returning Hadad.

“Following my approach to the King of Thailand the Thai authorities have decided that Nati Hadad will be transferred to serve the rest of his sentence in Israel,” President Rivlin wrote on Twitter, adding that he extended his thanks “to the King of Thailand and those involved in handling the process, led by MK Ayelet Shaked.”

Hadad’s mother told Israeli media that her son did not yet know he would be returned to Israel, and was set to be informed on Wednesday.

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