Report: Pollard slams PM's plan to return 4 Jordanian prisoners

Haaretz Service - February 18, 2007

Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard on Sunday harshly criticized Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision to transfer to Jordanian authorities four prisoners serving life sentences in Israel, Army Radio reported.

The Jordanian prisoners were convicted of killing Israel Defense Forces soldier Yehuda Lifschitz in 1990. The prisoners' families as well as Jordan's King Abdullah have pressured Olmert to allow the prisoners to serve the remainder of their sentences in Jordan.

Pollard sent a letter to Lifschitz's parents in which he wrote "Israel is obligated to return anyone captured by enemies while serving the country, but not by making deals with the devil that would ensure the continued spilling of Jewish blood."

Army Radio reported Sunday that the slain soldier's parents plan to hire a lawyer in order to challenge the legality of the release of their son's murderers.

The Prime Minister's Office issued a response to Pollard's criticism saying "Ehud Olmert sympathizes with the pain the Lifshitz family has experienced. In light of the delicate relations between Israel and Jordan, the prime minister has agreed to bring King Abdullah's request before the appropriate government bodies for consideration. Once they formulate a professional opinion on the matter, only then will a decision by made."

"As for Jonathan Pollard's letter," a PMO official told Army Radio, "we have no intention of responding to his sentiments, which probably sound heartfelt but are not entirely accurate."

Jonathan Pollard was convicted by a United States court of espionage for an ally and is currently serving a life sentence.