Pollard done with parole in US, free to relocate to Israel

Politics

FILE – In this July 22, 2016, file photo convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, left, with his lawyer, Eliot Lauer, leaves federal court in New York following a hearing, Pollard, the former Navy intelligence analyst who served 30 years in prison for selling secrets to Israel, has completed his parole, the Justice Department said Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jonathan Pollard, the former Navy intelligence analyst who served 30 years in prison for selling secrets to Israel, has completed his parole, the Justice Department said Friday.

The move will free him to travel to Israel, which his advocates say has long been Pollard’s wish.

His lawyer, Eliot Lauer, said in a statement that Pollard’s parole conditions for the last five years have included a curfew and a wrist monitor that tracks his whereabouts, as well as restrictions on where he could work.

“We are grateful and delighted that our client is finally free of any restrictions, and is now a free man in all respects. We look forward to seeing our client in Israel,” Lauer said.

Pollard, who was arrested in 1985 after trying unsuccessfully to gain asylum at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, was released from prison on parole five years ago. His lawyers said at the time that he would be required to remain in the United States for five years, though they called on then-President Barack Obama to grant him clemency and permit him to move to Israel immediately.

But the White House quickly shot down that prospect, saying Pollard had committed “very serious crimes” and the president had “no intention of altering the terms of Mr. Pollard’s parole.”

In a statement Friday, the U.S. Parole Commission said it had ended Pollard’s parole conditions after five years after finding “no evidence to conclude that he is likely to violate the law.”

Lauer said Pollard’s legal team informed the Justice Department of Pollard’s “exemplary record” as a prisoner and while on parole and said there was every reason to believe he would stay out of trouble once the conditions are lifted.

“It’s something we’ve been hoping for many, many years,” Pollard’s former lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, said in an interview. “It’s overdue and I’m happy for Jonathan that he’s able now to go to Israel, which is what his wish has been.”

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