Israel Given More Time for Pollard

March 2, 1998 - The Washington Post - A.P., Washington Post

The Supreme Court gave a government-appointed committee 60 more days Monday to explain what steps it is taking to win the release of Jonathan Pollard, a spy convicted of passing U.S. military secrets to Israel.

Pollard's wife lost her temper Monday as the Supreme Court ordered the delay in her husband's case, and shouted at the judges: "Do you want him to die?"

Esther Pollard was warned by Justice Eliezer Goldberg that she would be thrown out of court if she disturbed proceedings again.

Pollard, a former U.S. naval analyst, was arrested in 1985. He is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Butner, N.C.

He has asked the Israeli Supreme Court to force the Israeli government to acknowledge that he was an Israeli spy and to do more to secure his release.

In explaining her outburst in court, Mrs. Pollard said her husband is sick and that she fears his health will deteriorate further with each additional day in isolation.

Pollard's lawyer, Baruch Ben-Yosef, said Pollard has a chance of winning early release only if he is acknowledged by Israel as an agent.

"Agents are traded. We have suggested three-way spy swap deals between the United States, Russia, and Israel. Why are these alternatives not being acted upon?" Ben-Yosef told The Associated Press.

After Pollard's arrest, Israeli leaders said that he acted without official Israeli sanction. The Israeli Embassy in Washington closed its gates to Pollard as he tried to escape from federal agents who had come to arrest him in 1985.

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