Friday, September 04, 2009

Pollard's Attorney: Govt. is Hiding Dark Secrets

Maayana Miskin
A7 News

Jonathan Pollard's attorney, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, has slammed Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss's report on Pollard. In a report released Thursday, Lindenstrauss said the United States may not have given Pollard a fair trial, and accused Israeli officials of poor coordination. The report was “another cover-up of successive Israeli governments' failures regarding Pollard,” said Darshan-Leitner. Pollard has exhausted his legal options in the U.S. and is relying on Israel for help, she said.

Israel's government remains indifferent to his plight, she accused. “No government, at any time, has made any effort to free Pollard during his entire 24-year term in prison,” she said. “The government of Israel is still pretending that Pollard's activities took place in an irregular operation run by Rafi Eitan, and were not coordinated by the highest state officials.”

“There are still dark secrets in the Pollard affair that the government does not want the people to know,” Darshan-Leitner continued. As proof, she pointed to the fact that much of Lindenstrauss's report remains classified. “The Israeli public must demand that the entire report be published,” she declared.

Once the entire report is released, “The public can decide if Israel's governments have attempted to free Pollard, or if every single government has abandoned Pollard to his misery,” she concluded.

Lindenstrauss's report was a response to a 2007 request from the State Control Committee. The committee asked the state comptroller to submit a professional opinion on the government's attempts to free Pollard.

Pollard has served 24 years of a life sentence in prison for passing classified information to Israel. His punishment is uniquely harsh for the crime of passing classified information to an ally. Israel only acknowledged Pollard as an agent working on Israel's behalf in 1998, 13 years after he was jailed.

Lindenstrauss reported that Israeli governments have made efforts to free Pollard. However, he urged the government to do a better job coordinating its efforts, saying Israel “owes Pollard the mitzvah of releasing captives, and it's better late than never.”

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