Pollard done with parole in US, free to relocate to Israel

Elias Hubbard
November 22, 2020

Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel, leaves a NY courthouse following his release from prison in 2015.

Israeli leaders on Saturday welcomed the US decision to end parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard, a former US Navy intelligence officer who served 30 years in prison after being convicted of spying for Israel.

Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, sold military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon in the 1980s. Pollard's attorneys say the 66-year-old plans move to Israel.

Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986 to conspiracy to commit espionage in connection with providing Israeli contacts with hundreds of classified documents he had obtained as a naval intelligence specialist in exchange for thousands of dollars.

Jonathan Pollard served 30 years for giving away classified US documents and had been confined by parole terms to the United States since his release in 2015, despite Israeli pressure to allow him to leave. But the damage was done; the top-secret leaks included satellite photos and information about Soviet weaponry.

U.S. President Donald Trump considered allowing Pollard to attend the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, but that did not materialize. -Israeli relations for years.

"After a review of Mr. Pollard's case, the U.S. Parole Commission has found that there is no evidence to conclude that he is likely to violate the law", the Justice Department said.

Lauer said Pollard's legal team informed the Justice Department of Pollard's "exemplary record" as a prisoner and while on parole and said there was every reason to believe he would stay out of trouble once the conditions are lifted.

As conditions of Pollard's parole, he faced a curfew, had to wear a monitor that tracked his location, and had restrictions on which jobs he could take. "We are grateful and delighted that our client is finally free of any restrictions, and is now a free man in all respects", they said. "We look forward to seeing our client in Israel".

With his newfound freedom, Pollard will now be able to achieve his lifelong dream of moving to Israel, where he has citizenship. Israel had sought clemency for Pollard, but then-President Bill Clinton denied that request.

Pollard served 30 years for giving away classified U.S. documents, and had been confined by parole terms to the United States since his release in 2015.

"The prime minister expects Jonathan Pollard to arrive in Israel soon", a WhatsApp message from the premier's office said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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