A lawyer for Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard confirmed today that the American-born prisoner will be released in November, ending years of campaigning by both Israeli diplomats and Jewish-American advocates.
“We look forward to seeing our client on the outside in less than four months,’’ Pollard’s lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, said in a joint statement.
Pollard, a civilian US Navy intelligence analyst who spied for Israel, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987, despite a plea bargain in which he admitted his guilt. Several Israeli leaders and an increasing number of US political figures from both parties have made requests that the United States pardon Pollard.
Pollard was made a citizen of Israel during his imprisonment.
His wife Esther has long argued that her husband’s failing health makes him a prime candidate for early release. Individuals from Gilad Shalit to past Israeli President Shimon Peres have pressed the White House for his freedom.
“Mr. Pollard would like to thank the many thousands of well-wishers in the U.S., in Israel and throughout the world, who provided grass-roots support by attending rallies, sending letters, making phone calls to elected officials and saying prayers for his welfare. He is deeply appreciative of every gesture, large or small,’’ his lawyers said.