Pollard, in court plea, says Barak is withholding crucial documents

September 8, 1999 - Moshe Reinfeld, Ha'aretz Supreme Court Correspondent

In a petition to the Supreme Court, Jonathan Pollard accuses Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the State of Israel of withholding documents that could aid in his release from prison because they present the United States as an unreliable ally and Syria as an untrustworthy negotiating partner.

Pollard, a former civilian analyst for the United States Navy, was convicted of spying for Israel in 1985 and has served 14 years of a life sentence.

Pollard petitioned the Supreme Court yesterday to compel Barak to fulfill the commitments his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, made to obtain Pollard's immediate release and to see to all his medical and financial needs. He also demanded that he be provided with all the documents found in his Defense Ministry file. He maintains that the file contains a detailed list of all the documents he supplied to Israel, and that it will prove that the American accusations against him - that he passed on information harmful to U.S. national security - are false.

Pollard claims through his attorneys, Larry Dubb and Baruch Ben Yosef, that the Defense Ministry and intelligence agencies want to conceal these documents because they reveal that the United States knowingly concealed information from Israel concerning Syrian violations of the 1974 disengagement agreement from 1974 to 1984. According to Pollard, the documents also show how the U.S. withheld information on Syrian war plans against Israeli positions on the Golan - plans that specifically detailed planned chemical attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets.

Pollard also claims that the information in the documents will disclose to the public the names of those people in Israel who are trying to undermine efforts to obtain his release.

Two years ago, following a previous petition by Pollard to the Supreme Court, then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially acknowledged that Pollard was an Israeli agent. Pollard claims, however, that since taking office, Prime Minister Ehud Barak has completely violated all of the legal and moral obligations that he has toward Pollard, and that Barak has cut off all contact with Pollard and refuses to meet with his wife or attorneys. The petition further says that Barak has ignored the previous government's financial commitments to Pollard, including the payment of his legal fees, as well as a commitment to ensure that Pollard receives adequate medical attention.

On his last visit to the United States, says Pollard, Barak referred to the Pollard case as "an internal American problem, best left for American internal deliberation" and ignored Pollard's status as an Israeli agent.