Friday, November 20, 2015
Israel Spy Jonathan Pollard Freed From U.S. Prison After 30 Years
Israel spy Jonathan Pollard was freed Friday after serving 30 years in a U.S. prison, ending years of tension between Israel and the U.S. over his fate.
The Israeli government heralded Mr. Pollard’s release. “As someone who raised Jonathan’s case for years with successive American presidents, I had long hoped this day would come,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, adding that Mr. Pollard had been reunited with his family.
Mr. Pollard, 61 years old, was arrested in 1985 on charges of spying for Israel and sentenced to life in prison. He is an American, but Israel granted him citizenship, while he was imprisoned. Successive Israeli governments have argued that a life sentence for spying on a close ally was too harsh, and that Mr. Pollard should be released early.
Previous attempts were repudiated by the U.S., in part because senior intelligence officials objected. The case became a source of friction between the U.S. and Israel and a national sensation in Israel.
Mr. Pollard was released in the early morning hours from a federal prison in North Carolina, officials said. Hours after he walked out of prison, his lawyers said they had filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York seeking to end what they called the “unreasonable and unlawful’’ parole conditions imposed on Mr. Pollard now that he is free.