Israel Supreme Court Expresses "Confidence" in Barak

Media Release - February 6, 2000

The Supreme Court of Israel today expressed its complete confidence in the Government of Ehud Barak to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard in the very near future, and excused itself from ruling on the other issues in Pollard's petition.

Justice Michael Chesin read the decision of the Court:

"The Court believes that the Government will fulfill its obligations to take care of the needs of the petitioner, and do what is necessary to secure his release from prison. The Court shares in the hope that the Government's way will be successful and that the petitioner will be freed from prison in the very near future. Along with that, from a legal standpoint, the Court does not see fit to intervene in the action being taken or planned by the Government in this case. Accordingly, our decision is to reject the (Pollard) petition."

Pollard's attorneys call the Court's confidence "baseless" and the decision "troubling" not only for Jonathan Pollard, but for all those who serve the State. They point to a documented history of negligence and breach of promise on the part of the Government of Ehud Barak, that the Court seems simply to have ignored.

Pollard's lead attorney Larry Dub, pointed out that ever since Ehud Barak took power, Jonathan Pollard and his representatives have been completely cut off from all contact with the Government. "In all this time, the Government has not made any attempt to fulfill any of its obligations to Jonathan Pollard - legal, moral, financial or medical," said Dub. As for seeking his release, Dub said, "The statements of the new Israeli Ambassador to Washington, David Ivri, that he knows of no new initiative for Pollard, nor of any plan to help Pollard at all, have been simply dismissed." Dub added, "It is puzzling to consider on what - other than wishful thinking - the Court is basing its confidence."

Pollard's attorney Baruch Ben-Yosef noted that, "While both the Court and the Government affirm Jonathan Pollard's legal rights as an Israeli agent, the Court is not willing to provide the legal framework to ensure that the Government does more than pay lip service to its obligations." Ben-Yosef said that the Court in fact affirmed the validity of the issues raised in the Pollard petition but suggested that the case be pursued in other legal forums. "This," he said, " is tantamount to the Court simply ducking the issues."

Dub and Ben-Yosef plan to confer with Jonathan Pollard to formulate the next legal steps to be taken in the case.

Jonathan Pollard's wife, Esther, who attended the Court proceedings on behalf of her husband, said that she was deeply dismayed by the Court's cavalier attitude towards her husband's plight and its unwillingness to intervene to protect the legal rights of an Israeli agent.