Report: Obama to ask attorney-general to mull Pollard release
Peres has a special interest in using his ties with Obama to bring about his release, tells of promise to Pollard's wife and Israel to try to bring about the release of the agent who is in his 29th year in prison.
The Jerusalem Post - June 25, 2014
US President Barack Obama promised President Shimon Peres to have American attorney-general Eric Holder look into the possibility of commuting the life sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, Israeli sources in Washington said Wednesday.
Holder heads the American justice department and is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the US government. He is considered particularly close to Obama.
Peres told Obama that he had made a promise to Pollard's wife Esther and to the people of Israel to try to bring about the release of the agent who is in his 29th year in prison. The world's only two current male heads of state who have won the Nobel peace prize are set to meet again Thursday.
As the prime minister at the time of Pollard's arrest, Peres has a special interest in using his ties with Obama to bring about his release. He submitted documents to the US with Pollard's fingerprints that were used to incriminate him.
"Peres is responsible, and he would not promise to bring Pollard home if he had no chance," Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told The Jerusalem Post. "Peres would not say what he did if Pollard was not in his pocket, so I have hope."
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) said that if Peres succeeded in bringing Pollard home, the outgoing president's image would improve substantially in his eyes.
Bayit Yehudi faction head Ayelet Shaked, who heads the Knesset's Free Pollard caucus, said she believed Peres could succeed in bringing Pollard to Israel.
"I hope President Obama unshackles Pollard as a gesture of friendship to President Peres, if not as a matter of justice, at least out of mercy" she said.
Likud MK Moshe Feiglin said he doubted Peres would bring about Pollard's release.
"There is no one more to blame for Pollard being in prison than Peres," he said. "As long as Peres has any power, I think Pollard will remain in jail.
Labor MK Hilik Bar said Peres could not be blamed if he returned from Washington without Pollard.
"Peres gets along with Obama well but they are not best friends and the president of the United States doesn't work for Peres," he said.
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