US parole board refuses release of Jonathan Pollard

Panel indicates that Pollard, already in jail 30 years, will only be freed in 2030

124news - November 20, 2014

A US parole board has denied a request to free US-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who has begun his 30th year in prison, according to activist and media reports.

Pollard, 60, was an analyst in the US Navy and was convicted of passing secrets to Israel and sentenced to a life term, which expires in 2030. Over the past 20 years, since he first became eligible for parole, successive Israeli governments and public figures have lobbied with US administrations for his release, to no avail.

A statement on Wednesday by from the Campaign for the Release of Jonathan Pollard quoted American officials as saying that releasing Pollard would "constitute contempt for the severity of the offense and promote a lack of respect for the law."

According to The Jerusalem Post, the administration's representatives at the parole board hearing spoke menacingly, treated Pollard with contempt and made it clear that the Israeli agent would not see the Jewish state any time soon, if ever. Those present described the hearing as a "kangaroo court" and even "a lynching."

The rejection letter that the parole commission sent Pollard in August, which the Post exclusively obtained, was also harsh in tone.

"The breadth and scope of the classified information that you sold to the Israelis was the greatest compromise of US security to that date," the letter said.

"You passed thousands of Top Secret documents to Israeli agents, threatening US relations in the Middle East among the Arab countries."

The commission wrote that ahead of the 30th anniversary of Pollard's incarceration, it would conduct another review of the case in February 2015 and another parole hearing five months later, the Post reported.

But when asked whether the government would once again oppose Pollard's parole next July, a commission official replied, "Absolutely, vigorously".

The letter indicated that barring parole next year, Pollard would have to continue serving his life sentence, meaning 45 years.

Pollard, 60, is suffering from multiple recurring health problems and has been hospitalized several times recently without word getting out to the media.

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  • See Also: JPost: Pollard's Parole Plastering By Gil Hoffman: The Jerusalem Post reveals the drama behind the failure of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard's long-awaited parole hearing, which has been kept secret until now.