Tags: Jonathan Pollard | israeli | pollard | spy | paroled

Convicted Israel Spy Pollard To Be Paroled on Nov. 21

Image: Convicted Israel Spy Pollard To Be Paroled on Nov. 21
Former Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. (Karl DeBlaker/AP)

Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015 03:26 PM

A federal parole board has ruled that Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, will be released in November after serving a 30-year prison sentence, his attorneys said on Tuesday. 

Pollard, who has remained jailed for decades despite efforts by successive Israeli governments to secure his early release, will be required to remain in the United States for five years under the terms of his parole, the attorneys said in a statement.

They said the decision by the U.S. Parole Commission was unanimous and was "not connected to recent developments in the Middle East."

U.S. officials earlier had denied speculation that Pollard's release would be aimed at smoothing tense relations with Israel over President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fiercely opposes. But freedom for Pollard will be welcomed with enthusiasm in Israel.

Pollard, 60, who was convicted in 1987 of spying for Israel and sentenced to a life term, has long been eligible for parole in November.

The granting of his parole - with a release date of Nov. 21 - came after the Justice Department agreed not raise objections, his attorneys said.

"We look forward to seeing our client on the outside in less than four months," said Pollard's lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, in a joint statement.

Even though Pollard will be barred from leaving the United States for a five-year period, his lawyers said Obama could waive that parole requirement and allow him to go to Israel immediately after his release.

Pollard's supporters had said he was being punished too harshly since Israel is a U.S. ally and much of the classified information he passed on caused no damage to the United States and was intelligence that Israel previously had access to.

His supporters have also said he should be released because of his poor health, with his attorney saying he suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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The U.S. Parole Commission has ruled that Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, will be released from prison on Nov. 21, his attorneys said on Tuesday.
israeli, pollard, spy, paroled
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2015-26-28
Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015 03:26 PM
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