Pollard Questions Barak Plan For Release

Middle East News Line - July 22, 1999

JERUSALEM [MENL] -- Jonathan Pollard has asked Prime Minister Ehud Barak to detail his new low-profile policy to free the man sentenced to life in prison for passing U.S. defense secrets to Israel.

In a letter sent on Thursday to Barak, Pollard's attorney, Larry Dub, asks the prime minister to clarify how he intends to seek the release of his client. Dub said humanitarian appeals, judicial appeals, executive clemency, and presidential review have failed to release Pollard over the last 14 years.

During his visit to Washington, Barak said the government would no longer make Pollard's release a public issue. He said the issue would be best discussed privately between him and President Bill Clinton. Dub asks in what context the issue is to be discussed.

Dub said the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had linked Pollard to the peace process.

"If your government now insists that Jonathan Pollard no longer be linked to the peace process, and since none of the above (conventional methods) are options, please advise us," Dub wrote, " on what exactly are you basing your 'quiet diplomacy' initiative to free Jonathan Pollard?"

Dub said Barak has so far refused to meet with either the attorney or Pollard's wife Esther.