American Asks Israel to Admit He Spied
April 30, 1997
JERUSALEM, April 30 -- American Jonathan Pollard,
fighting for his freedom from a life sentence in the United
States, asked a court on Wednesday to order Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to admit Pollard spied for Israel.
Pollard, a former U.S. naval intelligence officer caught
passing information on Arab countries to the Jewish state in
1985, has repeatedly asked Israel to work for his release but it
has never admitted to using him as a spy.
"We want to know why the government of Israel does not
state clearly Jonathan Pollard was an agent of the state of
Israel," lawyer Larry Dubb, representing Pollard in the appeal
to the High Court of Justice, told Israel Radio.
Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986 to spying for Israel and got
the maximum sentence in a case that strained U.S.-Israeli
Netanyahu's office issued a statement in reaction to the
court appeal saying the prime minister was "doing his best" to
secure Pollard's release.
"On every visit of the prime minister's to Washington he
raises the Pollard issue in his conversations with the U.S.
administration," the statement said. "The prime minister will
continue to do all he can to bring Jonathan Pollard to Israel."
Pollard, an American Jew, said he had passed information to
Israel which Washington had withheld. He sought refuge from
arrest at the Israeli embassy in Washington but was turned away.
U.S. presidents have denied him clemency three times. Last
year Israel made Pollard a citizen in an official ceremony,
saying it hoped to win his freedom and resettle him in the
Pollard's wife, Esther, said the fact her husband had been
in jail 12 years was "a badge of shame" for the Israeli
government. She said successive Israeli governments had promised
to work for his freedom but had done nothing.
"The Americans already know he is an Israeli agent," she
told Israel Radio. "Why do the Israelis continue to deny it?"
Dubb said Pollard backed his claim to have worked for Israel
with the original U.S. charge sheet to which he admitted guilt.
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