Pollard was sentenced to 30 years in prison for spying for Israel
(WASHINGTON) — Lawyers for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard said Tuesday the U.S. has granted his parole and he will be released in November. Pollard, sentenced to life in prison, has served 30 years for spying for Israel.
He was arrested in November 1985 as he tried unsuccessfully to gain asylum in Israel’s Washington embassy. Since then, the case has stoked passions and divided opinions, with supporters arguing that he was punished excessively given that he spied for a country that’s a U.S. ally. Critics — including prosecutors and government officials — call him a traitor who damaged the nation by disclosing a trove of sensitive documents.
The U.S. has previously dangled his release, including during Israel-Palestinian talks last year. His pending release could be seen as a concession to Israel, which strongly opposed the just-concluded U.S. nuclear deal with Iran. But federal officials rejected that idea.
Pollard, 60, has battled health problems in recent years and is being held in a North Carolina prison. The federal Bureau of Prisons website lists his expected release date as November 21.