U.S. Refuses File to Pollard Attorney

Middle East Newsline - January 22, 1999

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The Justice Department has refused to allow an attorney access to the files of Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for passing U.S. Naval secrets to Israel.

In a letter to Pollard's attorney Larry Dub, Justice Department official Craig Iscoe said a previous attorney had "had complete access to the classified sentencing information" and an opportunity to review classified evidence before the life sentence was issued.

Dub has called for access to the file as part of efforts to obtain clemency from President Bill Clinton. In a letter sent on Thursday, Dub said Iscoe's assertion that Pollard had full access to the file is isleading.

In the letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, Dub said his right to full access is in accordance to the regulations governing executive clemency. Dub said a focus of his inquiry is the memorandum submitted at the last minute by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1987, who urged that Pollard be sentenced to life in prison.

Dub said Pollard and his attorney in 1987 were allowed to view the memorandum "under duress and in a highly coercive environment, only moments before sentencing. Under these circumstances, they were clearly not given the opportunity to study the document or to adequately prepare a defense and response - either in writing or orally - to the many lies and misstatements of fact that the document contains."

Since the sentencing, Dub said, the Justice Department has refused to reopen the Pollard file to his attorneys.

Dub said in 1995, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was later assassinated, asked Clinton to reduce Pollard's sentence to 20 years so that he could be released in 1998.

"Mr. Rabin's plan provided for Mr. Pollard to remain on parole under Israeli supervision for the balance of that sentence," Dub wrote. "The Prime Minister offered to be personally responsible for Mr. Pollard and to sign all guarantees and assurances that were required by the U.S. Between close friends and strong allies, the word and signed promise of the Head of State ought to be enough."

Justice for JP Note:

Jonathan Pollard was arrested in 1985. He was sentenced - without benefit of trial - in 1987.
See also:
  • Larry Dub Letters