Israel ombudsman: U.S. deprived Jonathan Pollard of due process

Tomer Zarchin - Haaretz - September 3, 2009

The state comptroller said on Thursday that convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was not given due process by U.S. authorities, adding that Israeli governments had continually attempted to secure his release over the years.

The opinion, part of which remains classified, looked into the efforts exerted by four different Israeli prime ministers into securing Pollard's release - Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said the subject of Pollard's release was always a priority for every one of the prime ministers examined, but that they nevertheless encountered staunch opposition from the different U.S. administrations.

The report also states, however, that all of the above prime ministers kept discussions regarding Pollard's fate discrete, making sure they were never documented.

"The lack of any documentation of these meetings is a significant transgression, and meetings between the prime ministers and U.S. presidents ought to have been documented - in the past, and definitely in the future," Lindenstrauss wrote.

Lindenstrauss noted that such documentation would allow Israel to reassess its prior efforts in securing Pollard's release so that it can better formulate future policies toward that end.

"Such an outline could be utilized by successive prime ministers and their aides as a vital organizational reference and a solid foundation for continued evaluation of modes of operation," the comptroller wrote.

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