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Jonathan Pollard’s lawyers: All restrictions lifted, parole terminated

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Jonathan Pollard‘s parole has been terminated and all restrictions lifted, his attorneys announced in a statement on Friday.Pollard, a former intelligence analyst for the US, was detained in 1985 for spying for and providing top-secret intelligence to Israel.”The US Parole Commission has issued a certificate terminating parole and lifting all parole restrictions on our pro bono client Jonathan J. Pollard,” the statement by Pollard’s lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, read. On November 15, 2015, Jonathan Pollard was released on parole after serving 30 years of a life sentence for spying on the US on Israel’s behalf. He is the only American in US history to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally, and the only one to serve more than 10 years in prison for the crime.
His parole restrictions were set to expire Friday, but as of Thursday he was still unaware whether he would be allowed to move to Israel or if his harsh parole restrictions would be renewed.Under parole restrictions Pollard was subjected to wearing a GPS wrist monitoring device that tracked his constant location, a curfew that prevented him from leaving his home before 7am or after 7pm, and his computers being monitored. The lifted restrictions also means that he and his wife Esther are able to fulfill their dream of moving to Israel. 

“During the past five years, since his release on parole from federal prison, Mr. Pollard has been subject to these US restrictions. 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,” the statement read. 

The attorneys announced on Pollard’s behalf that he is “happy to finally be able to assist his beloved wife Esther, who is fighting an aggressive form of cancer.” The restrictions made it hard for him to care for his wife Esther who was diagnosed in 2019 for the third time with severe breast cancer. 

Pollard said, via the statement putout by his attorneys, that he would like people to know that it was primarily his wife more than anyone else who kept him alive all the years he was in prison. 

Pollard also thanked his attorneys and their law firm, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, for standing by him for many years, and whose “forceful advocacy were instrumental in securing his release from prison on parole and the lifting of restrictions.”

Ambassador Ron Dermer was also thanked for acting “under the auspices of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for their efforts on his behalf.” Notably, Netanyahu had visited Esther many times. 

Pollard had reason for concern that the conditions would be renewed because he still has 10 years left of his life sentence. It was given before life sentences in the US were reduced from 45 years to the 30 that he served. Parole conditions lasting five years are considered standard.

“Under normal circumstances – that is, with any other prisoner, including spies for enemy nations, drug dealers, etc. – the five-year marker would have significance,” a source close to the Pollards said. “Provided that there were five years of good conduct, it would be honored immediately. But not for Israel’s agent. Nothing in this case has ever been handled according to normative legal practice.”

Sources familiar with the matter said they were not aware of another case in which a parolee was not informed weeks or months in advance of the date and time of the end of his or her parole. Prisoners are told this well in advance so that they can make plans for the future, the sources said.

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), a modern-orthodox organization in the US and Canada, thanked the US Department of Justice and Parole Commission fo releasing Pollard from his parole conditions. 

In a press release, NCYI President Farley Weiss said “We are extraordinarily grateful that Jonathan Pollard is finally a free man in every sense of the word. This is a tremendous day for Jonathan and his wife Esther, who will finally have the opportunity to travel to Israel together, which they have yearned to do for so long.”

“We thank the Justice Department for its decision to end Jonathan Pollard’s onerous parole conditions, which will enable him to better care for his wife, who is battling a serious illness, and who cared for and advocated for Jonathan over the course of several decades,” Weiss added. 

“By terminating his parole, the Justice Department has given Jonathan Pollard the freedom that he so justly deserves after a long and arduous ordeal.”

Jerusalem Post Staff, Cody Levine and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report. 



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