Pollard Wants Chance To Plead His Case
December 5, 1998 - Danny Gur-arieh
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Navy analyst
convicted of spying for Israel, has asked President Clinton for a chance
to defend himself when his case comes up for a promised presidential
Clinton has said he promised to review Pollard's case when Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked for his release during the Wye
negotiations on a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal in October.
In a letter to Clinton sent Friday and obtained by Reuters, Pollard's
lawyer in Israel said there were similarities between his client's case
and impeachment proceedings facing Clinton.
"Just as your attorneys are now appropriately demanding the right to
see the material being prepared for impeachment in order to allow you to
mount an adequate defense, elementary justice and a sense of fair play
dictate that the same opportunity must be afforded to Jonathan Pollard
to answer his accusers," said the letter from attorney Larry Dub.
The White House said this week Clinton had asked Defense Secretary
William Cohen, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Attorney General
Janet Reno and CIA director George Tenet for advice by January 11 on
whether to release Pollard, who is serving a life sentence.
Dub said in the letter that Clinton had sought only the opinion of
authorities "whose public opposition to my client's release has been
rife with slander, false allegations and gross distortions of the
Clinton has twice before rejected a pardon for Pollard, an American Jew
who admitted in a 1986
plea bargain that he spied for Israel.
Pollard's transfer to Israel of sensitive U.S. secrets, mainly about
Arab countries, during the early 1980s remains a sore point within the
U.S. defense and law enforcement community.
Dub said the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency had
used the Pollard case to justify measures against Jewish security
"Mr. President, as you well know, under Tenet the CIA has initiated a
witch-hunt to rid the agency of Jews holding security clearances," the
Pollard's case was a last-minute hurdle to the Wye peace deal in October between Netanyahu and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Netanyahu called for Pollard's release just before Clinton was due to
fly to Washington to announce that agreement had been reached. Pollard's
wife, Esther, said later that Clinton pledged to free her husband but
Clinton said he had promised only to review the case.
Israel has pressed the United States over the years to free Pollard, and
made him an Israeli citizen in 1996.
Clintons Asks the View of Top Aides On Freeing of Pollard
Letter To President Clinton from Pollard's Attorney