Court rejects Pollard petition, says no room for legal intervention

Haaretz - June 11, 2006

The High Court of Justice yesterday rejected a petition submitted by Jonathan Pollard who was convicted of spying on behalf of Israel, demanding that Israel take action to release him from an American prison.

A panel of three justices accepted the state's argument that there was no room for legal intervention in diplomatic affairs.

In his petition, Pollard said that Israel, led by then-prime minister Shimon Peres, had turned its back on him and had left him at the mercy of American authorities despite a pledge by the U.S. to release him once the confidential documents he obtained were returned.

According to the petition, the U.S. guaranteed it would not use the retrieved documents as evidence in his trial, but in practice they were the only evidence presented against him.

In her verdict, Justice Ayala Procaccia said, "the petition was bound to be rejected for the reason that this court tends not to become involved in matters that mainly concern the complex relations between the U.S. and Israel."

"According to the state, Israel is taking various measures to bring about Pollard's release, some of them on open channels, some in covert ways, and there is no room for judicial intervention in this matter," she said.

Pollard's wife, Esther, was highly critical of the court's ruling: "Jonathan's blood is on the hands of the High Court. The court could easily have been part of the solution for rescuing the life of an Israeli agent who has been in jail for the past 21 years after saving the lives of Israeli citizens. After 21 years of cruel treatment ... Jonathan's situation is very delicate," she added.

  • See Also: The Israeli Court Petition Page