Pollard to High Court: Force PM to acknowledge me

May 1, 1997 - The Jerusalem Post - Batsheva Tsur

JERUSALEM (May 1) - Spy Jonathan Pollard yesterday petitioned the High Court of Justice to order the prime minister to declare that he had been an agent of Israel.

Pollard also requested a temporary injunction ordering the government to reveal who has been in charge of his case and what steps have been taken to secure his release.

The petition also queries the official Israeli position, according to which Pollard had been part of a rogue operation. It calls for a temporary injunction ordering the state to outline what it paid Pollard for his services and to provide details of a bank account in Switzerland, in which he said Israel was supposed to have deposited $300,000 over 10 years.

Last July, Pollard was granted Israeli citizenship following a petition to the High Court.

Last night, the High Court issued a temporary injunction, apparently at the request of security authorities, forbidding publication of details of the petition, but lifted the ban shortly afterwards following a petition by Yediot Aharonot.

Pollard, then a civilian intelligence analyst working for the US Navy, was arrested with his first wife, Anne, outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, where they sought asylum, on November 21, 1985. He pleaded guilty in 1986 to spying for Israel and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Anne Pollard was later released from jail and made aliya in January 1991.

Pollard is being held at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina. His lawyer, Larry Dubb, yesterday released a document showing that Pollard, 42, is suffering from arthritis and early glaucoma.

Anne Pollard said last night she is very happy her ex-husband filed the petition. "While the average Israeli recognizes our sacrifice for the state, I've been waiting for the prime minister and government to formally recognize this," she said. "I hope the government won't neglect its obligations toward us."

Her hope was echoed by Pollard's second wife, Esther Zeitz-Pollard. "We have nothing to lose," she said. "The prime minister's advisers keep telling us that 'this is not the time,' " she told Army Radio.

Zeitz-Pollard said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had promised her he would raise the issue in meetings with US President Bill Clinton, but "Netanyahu did not even whisper his name ... [Jonathan] has been sitting there for 12 years and the situation is hopeless."

The prime minister "will continue to do everything in his power to bring Jonathan Pollard to Israel," Netanyahu's spokesman said in a statement last night, insisting the prime minister "raises the Pollard issue" in talks "during every visit to Washington."

Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein, who was minister at the embassy when the Pollards were arrested, yesterday denied he had been responsible for their arrest. Rubinstein released a cable to the Foreign Ministry sent immediately after the incident, in which he says he learned afterward that the Pollards had been turned away. He also released two letters to senior US officials in which he pleaded for clemency for Pollard on humanitarian grounds.

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