For Immediate Release August 14, 2005
POLLARD SUES ISRAELI GOVERNMENT OVER U.S.' BREACH OF SECRET AGREEMENT
Imprisoned Israeli intelligence agent Jonathan Pollard will file a petition
in the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem today demanding that the
government be compelled ecure his immediate release from the United States
where he has been incarcerated since his arrest in Washington in 1985. The
petition asks the Israeli Court to investigate the United States' violation
of a secret agreement between then Prime Minister Shimon Peres and American
Secretary of State George Shultz.
Pursuant to the 1985 agreement, Israel undertook to return to American
investigators all of the classified documents transferred by Pollard to the
Israeli government and in exchange the Justice Department committed itself
not to utilize these materials in its prosecution of the Israeli agent.
However, in violation of the agreement, American officials quickly used the
returned documents to confront Pollard, who was being held incommunicado,
which led him to confess and enter into a plea agreement. The Government of
Israel never raised a protest over the United States' blatant breach of the
terms of the secret agreement nor informed Pollard or his lawyers that the
Justice Department was prohibited from utilizing the documents in its
interrogations and prosecution.
Moreover, the Justice Department and then U.S. Secretary of Defense Casper
Weinberger further violated the secret agreement by utilizing the returned
documents as exhibits in their arguments to the sentencing court that
Pollard should receive a life term. Thus, the Justice Department would
never have been able to convict Pollard at a trial nor obtain a life
sentence for him had Israel insisted that the United States honor the terms
of the agreement. "Not only did Israel fail to act to release Pollard the
moment he was arrested, the Government on its own provided the American
prosecutors the materials that the United States needed to convict him and
impose a life sentence."
The High Court petition demands that Israel finally confront the United
States over its violation of the secret agreement and act to secure
Pollard's immediate release.
Jonathan Pollard is represented in the High Court by Israeli attorney
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. Attorney Larry Dub is 'of counsel'.
The existence and terms of the secret agreement were only brought to
Pollard's attention in 2000, after the late Israeli Minister Rechavam Ze'evi
discovered documentation referring to it in a Knesset Commission report
buried in a government archive and provided the imprisoned agent with a
Pollard, a former civilian analyst for American Naval intelligence, was
arrested in Washington, D.C. on November 21, 1985 on charges of having
passed classified information to Israel. He is the only person in the
history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an
On September 5, 2005, the High Court has scheduled a hearing for Pollard's
earlier petition demanding that Israel declare him a "Prisoner of Zion."
According to his attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: "The refusal of the
Israeli government to confront Washington over the violations of the secret
agreement is symptomatic of its fear of the Americans and permits it to
continue to ignore the violations of his civil rights by the United States.
Had Israel reacted 20 years ago when the violations occurred, or minimally
informed Pollard of the agreement, he would never have received the harsh
sentence he did. Israel must be compelled to treat Pollard as it would any
other captured agent and spare no effort in demanding that the U.S.
immediately release him."
For More Information: (US) 212-591-0073 (ISRAEL): 972-523-837020