PM Adviser Seeks 'Official Agent' Status For Pollard Release
April 2, 1998 - Batsheva Tsur - The Jerusalem Post
Shimon Stein, the legal adviser of the Prime Minister's Office, is working
on a formula which would declare that convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was
conscripted by people acting on behalf of Israel, although without the
government's official blessing. The formula, which has received a nod from
the defense establishment and State Attorney Edna Arbel, is expected to
satisfy Pollard's request for recognition as an official agent for whom the
government would take responsibility, a source told The Jerusalem Post.
Pollard's Jerusalem lawyer, Larry Dub, had been instructed by his client
earlier to turn down a vaguer version of official recognition. At the first
meeting yesterday of the ministerial committee for securing Pollard's
release, Communications Minister Limor Livnat and Immigration and
Absorption Minister Yuli Edelstein came out in favor of full recognition of Pollard as an Israeli agent. Recognition would help Pollard cover his lawyers' fees, and get monthly compensation and medical assistance while in prison.
Finance Minister Yaakov Neeman reportedly told the cabinet last week, after meeting Pollard, that he was not in good health.
Channel 2 reported last night Pollard had sent an angry letter to the
committee two weeks ago, complaining that Israel was not doing enough to
help him. The report said as a result, Israel is trying to work out a plan
to publicly acknowledge Pollard as a spy.
Cabinet Secretary Dan Naveh, the committee's coordinator, is expected to
leave shortly for Washington to build up a lobby for Pollard on Capitol
Hill. He is expected to take a letter co-signed by Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and Opposition leader Ehud Barak, calling on Jewish organizations
to work on Pollard's behalf. The letter is expected to point out that
Pollard has expressed remorse and deserves to be released on humanitarian
Naveh is expected to request that US Vice President Al Gore bring Pollard
with him when he travels to Israel for jubilee celebrations at the end of
the month. Alternately, he will ask for Pollard's release as a special
gesture sometime during the 50th anniversary year.
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