Pollard Petition No. 6029/99
to the Israeli Supreme Court

Jerusalem - September 7, 1999

The text of petition no. 6029/99 "Jonathan Pollard versus Ehud Barak" follows in its English translation. Attorney Larry Dub, accompanied by Esther Pollard, filed the petition to the Supreme Court this morning at 9:00 a.m. At the press conference that followed, Mr. Dub stressed "Exhibit A" of the petition - an official document issued by the Government of Israel on May 11, 1998. The document was Israel's official acceptance of legal responsibility for Jonathan Pollard, after nearly 12 years of denying that it ran him as an agent. The document states:

"Jonathan Pollard was an Israeli agent, handled by high-ranking Israeli officials in an Israeli authorized bureau - LAKAM. In light of this fact the State of Israel acknowledges its obligation to Mr. Pollard and is ready to assume full responsibility accordingly."

Jonathan Pollard's wife, Esther told reporters that it it is a very sad day when an Israeli agent must sue his own government after 14 years in prison to force the government to discharge its responsibility to him. The Pollard petition to the Supreme Court details how, since taking office, Prime Minister Ehud Barak has completely violated all of the legal and moral obligations that he has towards Jonathan Pollard. A copy of the text of the petition follows.

See also the Request to Court for Urgent Hearing & Rebuttal of Government Response.

Petition No. 6029/99

The High Court of Justice
Presiding as the Supreme Court of Justice

in the case of:

Jonathan Pollard - the petitioner

represented by attorney Larry Dub and/or Baruch Ben Yosef
of 5 Narkiss Street, Jerusalem 92461


Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak - the respondent

represented by the Government Legal Adviser
of the Ministry of Justice, Jerusalem

Petition to Request a Conditional
Judgment in An Emergency Hearing

The honorable High Court of Justice is hereby requested to issue a conditional judgment in an emergency hearing in which the respondent shall be compelled to appear and to explain:

  1. Why the respondent continues to violate all aspects of the legal and moral contract he has with the petitioner, which was formalized in an official agreement between the petitioner and the respondent, signed May 11, 1998.

  2. Why the respondent has not taken the necessary steps to secure the immediate release of an Israeli agent, namely the petitioner.

  3. Why the respondent has avoided all contact / information-sharing with the petitioner and his representatives.

  4. Why the respondent has not provided the petitioner with the documents he requested for his legal defense and to fight for his release. These documents include the petitioner's Intelligence service file, the Tzur/Rottenstreich Report and the Eban Report.

  5. Why the respondent has ignored his responsibility to secure appropriate medical treatment for the petitioner

  6. Why the respondent has ignored his obligation to financially assist the petitioner - an Israeli agent - during his harsh and long incarceration.

These Are the Relevant Facts:

  1. The petitioner is serving a life sentence in the United States for espionage on behalf of the State of Israel.

  2. After serving more than 12 years in prison, during which time government officials vehemently denied that the petitioner was sent by the State or that he worked for the State at all, the petitioner filed Bagatz # 263397 with the High Court.

    However before the High Court had looked into this issue in the petition, the respondent (at that time, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu) decided that the State of Israel would admit and formally recognize that the petitioner was an Israeli agent, and that the Government of Israel recognized its obligation to the petitioner and was willing to accept full responsibility for him. This included being responsible for his health and welfare; for his financial needs, both during and post incarceration, and most importantly, to work for his immediate release.

  3. As a result of the Government's willingness to recognize the petitioner as an Israeli agent and to accept full responsibility for him as per a registered letter sent to the attorney of the petitioner, - attached here as exhibit 1 - the petitioner agreed to drop Bagatz # 263397. The cancellation request is attached here as exhibit 2.

  4. The former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also sent the petitioner a personal letter, dated May 14, 1998, hand-delivered to the petitioner by the Cabinet Secretary Dani Naveh, to reassure him of the Government's commitment to him and to securing his immediate release. A copy of this letter is attached and labeled exhibit 3.

  5. In light of the respondent's recognition of the petitioner as a bona fide Israeli agent, the petitioner believed that the respondent would then spare no effort to finally secure his release, as has been the case for other agents.

  6. The Prime Minister has demonstrated recently that when a decision is made to negotiate and secure the release of Israel's agents, it is possible to do so in a few days as was the case recently in Jordan; sometimes in a few weeks as was the case in Switzerland, and sometimes in a few months as was the case in Cyprus.

  7. Unlike other more complicated cases, the respondent knows exactly where the petitioner is. The respondent also knows exactly what needs to be done to secure his release. Yet in 15 years the respondent and all of his predecessors have failed to move the case any closer to resolution.

  8. Since the respondent has taken office the overall situation of the petitioner has deteriorated. This is a result of the fact that the respondent has:
    1. cut off all contact with the petitioner and his representatives
    2. refused to update the petitioner and his representatives at all, especially before and after recent talks in Washington
    3. avoided and or ignored all attempts to establish contact by the petitioner's representatives
    4. failed to respond to requests for information
    5. failed to respond to requests for meetings
    6. failed to establish and make known, a responsible liaison officer for the petitioner in Washington
    7. failed to establish and make known, a liaison officer for the Pollard case in Jerusalem
    8. ignored all requests for assistance with petitioner's medical needs
    9. ignored all financial responsibility for the petitioner, even including legal expenses

  9. The petitioner has repeatedly requested that the respondent provide him with a full copy of his Intelligence service file and with copies of the Tzur/Rottenstrecich and Eban Reports. The petitioner has requested these documents from the respondent in order to defend himself in the USA because the respondent refuses to do so, and in order to fight for his release which the respondent is also not doing. The respondent has ignored all requests for these documents.

  10. The petitioner's long incarceration on behalf of the State has resulted in serious health problems including hypertension, glaucoma, diabetes, severe chronic arthritis, and others. A recent CAT-scan - which the petitioner had to fight for years on his own - shows that the petitioner has numerous growths in both of his sinus cavities. It is not known if these growths are malignant or benign.

  11. The petitioner's health only continues to deteriorate. Each passing day poses a greater threat to his life. It is imperative that there be an immediate resolution to this tragic case as quickly as possible. In spite of this, not only does the respondent ignore all requests for assistance with the petitioner's medical needs, he also takes no initiative to achieve the only real solution to the petitioner's life and death situation - that is, to secure his immediate release.

    Points of the Petition

  12. The petitioner maintains that because the respondent has all the documents and knows the truth about the petitioner's espionage in the USA but has failed to publicize it, this has made it impossible for the petitioner to defend himself against the many lies that have been spread about him in the American media.

  13. The lies and the media attacks against the petitioner were intensified right after the Wye summit in October of 1998, and the respondent made no effort to defend the petitioner or to stop up the lies by countering them with the truth.

  14. Since the respondent and his predecessors have failed to defend the petitioner, the petitioner must defend himself. To that end, the petitioner has repeatedly requested that the respondent provide him with a full copy of his Intelligence service file and with copies of the Tzur/Rottenstrecich and Eban Reports.

  15. The petitioner maintains that the respondent's claim that he is still working quietly to secure the release of petitioner after 14 years of virtually no progress, is simply not credible. This is underscored by all of the recent swift rescues of Israeli agents from Jordan, Switzerland and Cyprus. It is apparent that there are elements within the Israeli National Security establishment that are either actively blocking the petitioner's release, or passively delaying it indefinitely in order to serve their own interests.

  16. The petitioner maintains that the Tzur/Rottenstreich and Eban Reports, and the petitioner's own Intelligence service file contain the information necessary to reveal who and what it is on the Israeli side that is actually blocking or delaying the petitioner's release. The petitioner maintains that both he and the people of Israel have a right to know who these people are and what their motive is for preventing the return of an Israeli agent.

  17. The petitioner maintains that his Intelligence Service file contains a master list of every document that the petitioner ever provided to Israel. The petitioner has seen this master list and can testify to its existence.

    The master list clearly shows what the petitioner did provide to Israel. Conversely it also shows, by omission, what the petitioner did not provide to Israel. This list is necessary to rebut the false charges against the petitioner and Israel that the Americans have disseminated through the media.

  18. The petitioner maintains that the above-named file also holds the petitioner's tasking orders from Israel. They indicate the information that he was ordered to procure. These tasking orders also clear the petitioner and Israel of the false accusations against them by the United States.

  19. The petitioner further maintains that the above-named file also contains documents that reveal how the U.S. knowingly withheld information from Israel regarding major Syrian violations of the 1974 Disengagement Agreement - violations that occurred between 1974 and 1984. They also show how the U.S. withheld information on Syrian war plans against Israeli positions on the Golan. These plans specifically detailed planned chemical attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets.

  20. These documents expose America as an unreliable ally and Syria as untrustworthy negotiating partner. Although the Ministry of Defense and Intelligence agencies may have their own self-serving reasons for keeping this information suppressed, such considerations should not take precedence over the needs of an agent fighting for his life.

  21. The petitioner maintains that since the respondent has taken office the petitoner's case has been severely damaged. The respondent's recent statements in America ignoring the petitioner's status as an Israeli agent and referring to the case as "an internal American problem, best left for American internal deliberation" have seriously undermined the petitioner's cause. At the same time that the respondent has made all these damaging statements, he has refused to meet with the petitioner's wife or his representatives.

  22. The petitioner also maintains that he has been told by members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that the respondent's statements to them about the Pollard case during his recent trip to the USA have been understood as obliging them to "say nothing, do nothing about Pollard". This again has done and continues to do great damage to the momentum that was generated in his case since Israel officially recognized the petitioner as an Israeli agent in May of 1998.

  23. The petitioner further maintains that in the absence of any communication from the respondent or his representatives, the petitioner has had to seek information from his own sources both in Washington and in Jerusalem. Reliable top level sources report that there is no initiative in progress to secure the release of the petitioner - no "quiet diplomacy", and none is planned.

  24. In light of the above, the petitioner therefore requests that the court issue a conditional judgment which will become an absolute judgment compelling the respondent to explain why he has ignored all of the legal and moral obligations that he has towards the petitioner as an Israeli agent.

  25. The petitioner further requests that the court admonish the respondent that no matter what excuses he may offer for failing to take steps to secure the petitioner's release, the respondent has an absolute legal obligation towards the petitioner as an agent. The respondent does not have the option to abandon an agent, or to give up in his efforts to secure the release of an agent, or to cut off contact with him and his representatives.

  26. The petitioner further requests that the court compel the respondent to provide the petitioner with copies of all documents requested including his complete Intelligence service file and the Tzur/Rottenstreich and Eban Reports.

  27. The petitioner further requests that the court appoint a judicial overseer to supervise the respondent's efforts to secure the petitioner's release.

  28. The petitioner further requests that the court compel the respondent to provide weekly reports to the court-appointed overseer on the steps being taken and steps being planned to secure the petitioner's release, every week until there is success and the petitioner is returned home. It would be the task of the judicial overseer to assure that the release of the petitioner is sought with the same intensity and seriousness that the respondent has demonstrated for the release of all other agents.

  29. The petitioner further requests that the court compel the respondent to meet with the petitioner's wife and his legal counsel to rectify the damage done by his recent statements and to give an account of his plans to secure the release of the petitioner.

  30. The petitioner further requests that the court compel the respondent to provide the petitioner with appropriate and mutually acceptable contact persons both in Washington, and in Jerusalem.

  31. In the past the Government has appointed people to be responsible for working on the petitioner's release who were hostile to the petitioner - people like General Dani Yatom and attorney Shimon Stein and others. Instead of seeking his release, they undermined and obstructed efforts to free the petitioner. Such hostile officials should be forbidden from having anything to do with the petitioner's case.

    The petitioner requests that the court admonish the respondent to appoint only those people who are interested in working seriously and intensively on this case, and who actually do intend to accomplish the goal of their appointment - the immediate release of the petitioner.

  32. The petitioner further requests that since he worked as an agent of LAKAM, a branch of the Ministry of Defense, that the court request that the respondent appoint Major General Ze'ev Livneh, (military attaché in Washington) as liaison officer for the petitioner. Major General Livneh should be instructed to visit Mr. Pollard periodically, update him constantly on the current efforts to secure his release and maintain on-going contact with Mr. Pollard and his designated representatives. As the liaison officer would also be responsible for the petitioner's needs.

  33. The honorable court is requested to hold an emergency hearing of this petition because of the petitioner's failing health. The petitioner has been suffering for nearly 15 years from a number of serious and painful illnesses. As these illnesses continue to get worse with each passing day, there is a threat to the life of the petitioner. The petitioner has good reason to fear that respondent would prefer as much delay as possible by the court so that rather than having to deal with seeking the release of the petitioner, all he may have to deal with is funeral and burial arrangements, G-d forbid.

  34. The honored court is requested to compel the respondent to pay all court costs and legal fees related to this hearing.

See also:
  • Request for Emergency Hearing
  • Text of Legal Demand That Barak Reveal Involvement

  • Return to Legal Texts page