Pollard's Attorney Calls For Israelis To Make Official Statement

May 1, 1997 - SNS News Service

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, fighting for his freedom from a life sentence in the United States, asked a court on Wednesday to order Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to admit Pollard spied for Israel.

Pollard, a former US 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, 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.

US 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 Jewish state.

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 US charge sheet, to which he admitted to. Dubb called upon Israeli officials to come forward and make official statements to the fact that Pollard did indeed, deliver information for the Israeli government.

The prime minister stated that prior to assuming office and more so now, as prime minister, he has always done his utmost to obtain Pollard's freedom.

Mr. Netanyahu stated he has raised the Pollard issue with American officials on every visit.

Last evening, Israeli officials placed a ban on the publication of details of the appeal to the High Court.

Editor's Update: The High Court has denied the Government's right to ban the publication of the details of the appeal and has upheld the media's right to full publication.

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