Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard released after 30 years in US prison

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard launched after 30 years in US jail.

New York: Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was released on Friday after 30 years in an American prison but he will stay in the United States under strict in a case that strained relations between the two allies for decades. Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in 1987 of passing classified information to Israel. The 61-year-old former Navy intelligence analyst was set free in the middle of the night from a medium-security federal prison in Butner, N.C., after being paroled from a life sentence that had turned him into a continual source of tension between the U.S. and Israel.

Under the rules of his release, he must wear a GPS unit to transmit his whereabouts at all times, allow the installation of monitoring equipment on any computers he uses and agree to periodic, unannounced inspections of those machines. Pollard will now disclose stale, 30-year-old information to anyone is preposterous,” his lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, said in a statement. But Mr Netanyahu has urged Israelis not to celebrate too much in case that damages efforts to persuade the US government to let Pollard leave for Israel sooner. Environmental Protection Agency said the German automaker used software to cheat on pollution tests on more six-cylinder diesel vehicles than originally thought.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed his release. “After three long and difficult decades, Jonathan is at last reunited with his family,” Netanyahu said. Despite parole requirements that he not leave the U.S. without government permission for the next five years, Pollard has expressed a desire to renounce his American citizenship and move to Israel, where he is seen by some as a national hero. Volkswagen told the EPA and the California Air Resources Board the software is on about 85,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles with 3-liter engines going back to the 2009 model year. His computers and those of his employer will be subjected to unfettered monitoring, something his lawyers said could prevent Pollard from starting a job in research at an unnamed New York City investment firm.

Earlier this month the regulators accused VW of installing the so-called “defeat device” software on about 10,000 cars from the 2014 through 2016 model years, in violation of the Clean Air Act. Two New York-based lawyers for the 61-year-old Pollard, Jacques Semmelman and Eliot Lauer, vowed to contest the conditions of his probation as “unreasonable and unlawful.” They specifically argued against a requirement for “GPS monitoring of his person” and monitoring of his computer use at home and work, which they called “career-impairing.” He is also subject to curfew and travel restrictions. The lawyers said Pollard had been a “model prisoner” and that there was no reason to fear he might commit acts of violence or reveal further US intelligence that by now, in any case, would be so outdated as to be meaningless.

In July, US Secretary of State John Kerry denied that a decision by the US Parole Commission to free Pollard was a US gesture to try to dampen Israeli objections to the nuclear agreement struck between Iran and major world powers. But President Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said that “the president does not have any plans to alter the terms of his parole.” Pollard’s release came almost exactly 30 years after his arrest on November 21, 1985. — A Facebook page ostensibly created for an audience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign called “Illini White Students Union” has drawn fire after it characterized the national Black Lives Matter movement as “terrorism.” Created Wednesday after a protest sympathetic to Black Lives Matter, the page declared itself “for white students of University of Illinois to be able to form a community … as be able to organize against the terrorism we have been facing from Black Lives Matter activists on campus,” as the Daily Illini reported.

A US court jailed Pollard for life in 1987 after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. US officials have said Pollard, over a series of months and for a salary, provided intelligence summaries on the capabilities and programs of Israel’s enemies. Over the years Israeli right-wing activists have sought to turn Pollard into an icon, a fierce defender of Israeli security, even when it meant spying on Israel’s closest ally.

NEW YORK — An outbreak of E. coli linked to Chipotle that originated in the Pacific Northwest has spread south and east and has now infected people in six states. In a sign of the case’s sensitivity, Netanyahu had asked his ministers to refrain from claiming victory upon Pollard’s release, local media reported. Pollard made contact in June 1984 with an Israeli colonel, Aviem Sella, who was studying in New York, and offered to provide him with classified information. He claimed only to have passed information vital to Israel’s security that the Americans had withheld, but security experts feared sensitive information might have reached Soviet hands.

He told investigators he was asked to obtain US information on Arab nuclear programs and “Arab exotic weaponry,” a since declassified CIA document said. Israel’s October 1985 raid on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s Tunis headquarters that killed some 60 people was planned with information from Pollard, according to CIA documents declassified in 2012. There is speculation that the July announcement of Pollard’s release, just days after the West and Iran struck a nuclear deal, was meant as a conciliatory gesture towards Israel, which vehemently opposes the accord. It may help the strained US-Israeli relations after the Iran deal, but I think this was not the decisive cause for the release,” Michael Brenner, director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University, told AFP.

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