After three decades spent in jail as an Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard has failed to overturn the burdening parole conditions he has to comply with ever since his release in November.
On Thursday, a U.S. district court in Manhattan rejected the man’s challenge to probation terms which include staying in the U.S. for five more years, wearing an electronic tracking device, and allowing the feds to monitor his electronic correspondence.
Pollard’s attorneys said in court that the conditions were arbitrary since the Israeli man is not technically capable of disclosing confidential data as the information he holds is 30-year-old and no longer relevant. They added that having his computer monitored will prevent the man from landing a job at an investment firm.
The court, however, was adamant. Judge Katherine Forrest argued that the U.S. Parole Commission took the decision based on the fact that the former spy had said he had plans to leave the country to reunite with his wife in Israel. Additionally, while in jail, Pollard was awarded Israeli citizenship.
Forrest added that the classified documents the plaintiff had stolen remain tagged as ‘top secret’ and ‘secret’ even after 30 years, according to a document submitted by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper earlier this year.
The judge argued that the probation commission was “within its discretion” when it credited Clapper’s argumentation on the classification of the stolen documents over Pollard’s own arguments and “preferred sources.”
One of the man’s lawyers Eliot Lauer recently told reporters that his team were disappointed with the decision so they planned to further study it. Lauer’s client was convicted in 1986 for conspiracy to commit espionage after he had handed over classified documents he had access to as a Naval intelligence specialist to Israeli agents. Back then the man pleaded guilty to all charges.
A year later he was convicted to life. But after 30 decades in a federal prison he was released from jail on probation on Nov. 20. He currently resides in New York. The man’s release was also due to the diplomatic efforts of Israel.
Nevertheless, he is now forced to remain in the U.S. for five more years. It is the second time he challenges probation terms in court since his release.
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