Pollard's petition denied

November 18, 1998 - Ha'aretz - Moshe Reinfeld

The High Court of Justice yesterday rejected a petition by convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to forbid Israel from releasing Palestinian prisoners as part of the Wye accord until Pollard was freed from prison in the United States.

The panel, consisting of Justices Mishael Cheshin, Dorit Beinisch and Menahem Elon, stated that the court does not intervene in diplomatic agreements.

Pollard is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel while he worked for U.S. intelligence.

The justices also accepted the contention of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Pollard, contrary to his attorney's claim, was not promised that the release of Palestinian prisoners would be conditional on his being freed. The only promise he was given, the court found, was that an effort would be made to bring about his release.

Attorney Uzi Fogelman, from the State Prosecutor's Office, represented Netanyahu and told the court that Israel was doing everything in its power to secure Pollard's release, but this did not mean that he could compel the state to adopt a certain mode of behavior while implementing an international agreement.

Pollard's wife, Esther, who was in the courtroom, said it was "a black day for Israel."