Pollard's Cases To Return To Court Once Again

J4JP and Arutz-7 News - August 13, 2003

J4JP Preface

Arutz-7, more than most news outlets to date, attempts to present an accurate picture of what the September 2nd 2003 court date really means for Jonathan Pollard. It is NOT a critical hearing or trial that can actually effect Jonathan's release any time soon. Just the opposite. This court date actually DELAYS the time that a decision will be made on his two cases filed in 2000. Until a decision on those cases is made there can be no progress towards securing Jonathan's freedom.

Both sets of attorneys, the government's attorneys and Jonathan's, are on record that the 2000 cases have been fully briefed and that it is time they were decided. Unfortunately, instead of issuing a decision on them, the court has prolonged the process by adding yet another round of oral arguments. For further information see IMRA Interview with Esther Pollard: New Court Date Will Not Free Jonathan Pollard.

Arutz-7 News - August 13, 2003

A Washington, D.C. court is scheduled to hear, in less than three weeks, still more argumentation regarding two court suits submitted by Jonathan Pollard three years ago.

Pollard has motioned for re-sentencing, claiming, inter alia, that his life sentence was handed down in violation of his constitutional rights, that the government violated its plea agreement, and that an ineffective defense sabotaged his subsequent legal rights. He further demands that his security-cleared counsel be granted the right to see the secret and damning last-minute memo by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger that led to his life sentence.

Pollard's wife Esther explained to Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA the details of the case, as well as what can - and cannot - be expected. The full interview can be read at on the IMRA website..

Jonathan Pollard himself will be present in court, by order of presiding U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan, but will not be permitted to testify. It is not clear whether he will be flown in or driven for six hours from Butner, N.C., to Washington, D.C. His lawyers will have 30 minutes to present their case, and ten additional minutes to respond to the government's counter-claims.

Pollard-supporters are not optimistic, fearing that the upcoming session is merely an excuse to extend the process even longer than the three years it has already dragged out. The lack of a decision, and the prospect that none will be handed down in the foreseeable future, is not encouraging, they say. Even a rejection of Pollard's request to appeal his life sentence would be a welcome development - as in such a case, he plans to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

The legal issues boil down to two, JTA reports: Was the ex-naval intelligence officer convicted in March 1987 on the basis of a misleading secret 46-page affidavit? And was he denied due process by a defense attorney who declined to file a routine appeal after the life sentence was handed down? Judge Aubrey Robinson stunned Pollard and threw her crowded courtroom into pandemonium in 1987 when she handed down the unexpected maximum sentence - in violation of the plea-bargain agreement in which the prosecution promised not to ask for a life sentence.

The upcoming court session will not be an actual appeal, nor an evidentiary hearing - but rather merely a forum for Pollard's lawyers to present their arguments once again on behalf of allowing him to request re-sentencing. He is currently not eligible to actually appeal his sentence because his lawyer at the time, Richard Hibey, declined to file a routine notice of appeal.

Hibey also failed to object when prosecutors violated the plea agreement and asked for life, and failed to call for an evidentiary hearing on Weinberger's secret affidavit. "It is known," writes the jonathanpollard.org website, "that Hibey's fees were paid by the Israeli Government. But it is not clear whose orders he was following... when he gave up on defending his client. His post-sentencing actions stymied all future efforts to appeal what Hibey himself knew was a politically-motivated and grossly unfair sentence."

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