Court Cool To Pollard's Freedom Bid

Associated Press - The New York Post - March 16, 2005

WASHINGTON - Two federal appeals-court judges suggested yesterday that convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is on weak legal ground in asking them to help shorten the life sentence he received for delivering classified documents to Israel.

Reviving the case would mean that "you've opened the floodgates" for hundreds of other prisoners sentenced long ago, Judge David Sentelle, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, told Pollard's lawyers during a 45-minute argument. A second member of the three-judge panel, Judith Rogers, also questioned whether Pollard, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to spy for Israel, is entitled to further court challenges of his sentence.

Pollard lawyers Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman argued that the U.S. government lied to Pollard and that his previous lawyers failed to defend him properly.

Sentelle disagreed, calling Pollard's original attorney, Richard Hibey, one of the most highly regarded criminal defense lawyers in the country.

The assertion by Pollard's current lawyers that another of his previous lawyers had a conflict of interest is "nothing but speculation," said assistant U.S. attorney Mary McCord.

Pollard, 50, was a civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy when he copied and gave to his Israeli handlers enough classified documents to fill a walk-in closet.*

*J4JP Note:

The government used an insidious formula to exaggerate the volume of information that Jonathan Pollard passed to Israel. The formula was: if only one page or a single sentence of a document was passed to the Israelis, it was counted as if the whole document had been transmitted. Even referenced documents and sources were counted as having been transmitted in toto. Using this calculation, a single page could be counted as 50 hard-bound 500 page volumes!

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