U.S. Spy Pollard Claims Torture In Prison, Seeks Israeli Action

Associated Press - May 8 2005

JERUSALEM - Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. citizen who spied for Israel, has been subjected to electric shock, sleep deprivation and other "cruel and extreme" forms of torture while serving a life sentence in American prisons, his lawyer said Sunday.

A petition filed with Israel's Supreme Court says Pollard was kept naked for more than a year in solitary confinement in subzero temperatures. It claims his jailers also soaked him with ice water, forced him to sleep on a bare concrete slab, and lied to him that the Israeli government had arranged his release.

His lawyer, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, told The Associated Press that Pollard has complained about torture to the U.S. Embassy [J4JP: to the Israeli Government!] since the outset of his imprisonment nearly 19 years ago, but this is the first time the complaints have been included in a legal document. It asks the court to force the Israeli government to declare Pollard a Prisoner of Zion - a status that would require the government to do all it can to get him released, she said.

Israel, which has pressed the issue of releasing Pollard with the U.S. administration, has refused in the past to assign him that status. The status was originally created for Jewish activists imprisoned in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s.

Asked what took Pollard so long to go public with the alleged torture, Darshan-Leitner said he did so after despairing of persuading the Israeli government to declare him a Prisoner of Zion.

Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. navy when he copied and gave to his Israeli handlers enough classified documents to fill a walk-in closet. [J4JP: Not so. See fact 21 on The Facts Page] He was not paid when his spying began in 1984, but acknowledged that Israel later began paying him a few thousand dollars a month. [J4JP: Jonathan was a bona fide Israeli agent. All agents are compelled to receive salaries, whether they agree or not, since this is considered a control mechanism.]

Pollard was caught in November 1985 and arrested after unsuccessfully seeking refuge at the Israeli Embassy. His case has strained U.S.-Israeli relations.

Pollard has spent his time in several U.S. federal prisons, most recently at the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, North Carolina. Prison officials did not immediately return a message Sunday.

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