Pollard Seeks Help From Barak

September 7, 1999 - SARI BASHI - Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) - Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard appealed to Israel's Supreme Court on Tuesday, demanding that Prime Minister Ehud Barak explain why he isn't fighting for his release from a U.S. prison.

Pollard, a former civilian analyst for the U.S. Navy, was convicted of espionage in 1985 and has served 14 years of a life sentence.

Israel has acknowledged that Pollard was its agent and has repeatedly asked the United States to release him.

But Pollard contended in his petition that since taking office, Barak has cut off contact with him and has not worked to release him.

Pollard's wife, Esther, repeated allegations that President Clinton reneged on a deal to release Pollard last year as part of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord brokered in Wye River, Md.

Clinton has said he will review a clemency request.

Mrs. Pollard said Tuesday that Barak's office has repeatedly ignored requests to meet with her and has stopped updating her husband on efforts to secure his release.

The petition demands that Barak release documents showing that the secret documents Pollard gave Israel did not harm U.S. national security. It also requests financial and medical assistance for Pollard while he is in his North Carolina jail.

Barak spokeswoman Merav Parsi-Tsadok said that public discussion of the case would only hurt release efforts.

"The prime minister's stance is to do everything possible so that Pollard will go free and return to Israel," she said.

Barak brought up the issue in his meeting with Clinton in July but said it should not be linked to the peace process.

Mrs. Pollard, who came from Toronto to file the petition, said Barak was behaving in "a shabby fashion toward a man whom the government has recognized as its agent."