Pollard Appeal At High Court Today

March 2, 1998 - Batsheva Tsur - The Jerusalem Post

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard yesterday expressed "outrage" at the state response to his petition to the High Court of Justice which is due to come up again today before the bench.

The court heard the petition on October 29, in which Pollard asks to be recognized as an Israeli agent - and gave the government 60 days to try to resolve the issue out of court.

"Jonathan said that the state had skirted every issue raised in his petition," his second wife, Esther Zeitz-Pollard said yesterday, a few minutes after she spoke to him by telephone in prison. In its response, the state says that Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh will coordinate a ministerial committee's efforts to secure Pollard's release. Further ministerial visits to Pollard are planned, it adds.

"This is the third such committee that has been set up, and they are all smoke screens," Pollard told his wife yesterday.

Absorption Minister Yuli Edelstein and Communications Minister Limor Livnat visited Pollard over the past few months. Zeitz-Pollard said Finance Minister Yaakov Neeman had canceled plans to visit Pollard on February 6, without setting a new date.

The response to the petition adds that Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein has raised Pollard's case with his U.S. counterpart Janet Reno. All these measures should be allowed to bear fruit and there was no further point in holding further hearings until then, the response said. Zeitz-Pollard alleged however that she and her husband "have been totally ignored (by Israel). They are not even going through the motions."

She added that their "attorney, Larry Dub, was recently asked by the government's attorney to drop the case. He was told the reason was 'because there is a new committee.'" He refused, Zeitz-Pollard said.

Pollard is expected to be represented in court today by Baruch Ben-Yosef, Dub's partner. The proceedings are expected to be held behind closed doors.

"In the best case scenario, the Supreme Court will live up to its highest ideals and we will learn about [its] integrity. In the worst case, [it will] sacrifice the truth for political expediency," Pollard was quoted as saying in anticipation of today's session.

The court could issue a show-cause order, Zeitz-Pollard said. She added that if her husband was acknowledged as an Israeli agent, then "Israel must assume responsibility for Jonathan's immediate release."

But, she added, if the state does not admit that Pollard was an Israeli agent, it would imply he was falsely accused.

In that case, the state would have to help him clear his name, she maintained. "The state is in a bind," Zeitz-Pollard said.

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