Mitt Romney ‘open to examining’ Pollard issue

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 22, 2011 04:13

Republican candidate made the remarks in a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Laura Segall)

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney revealed this week that he would be “open to examining” the case of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard if he is elected president of the United States, the Republican candidate said in a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

A Jewish leader who participated in the meeting expressed confidence that after examining the case, Romney would decide that the life sentence Pollard received for spying on the US for its ally, Israel, was disproportionate and he must be released.

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“There is no doubt that keeping Pollard in jail is unjustifiable,” the leader, who met with Romney, said.

Romney joined his rival for the Republican nomination, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, in making comments perceived as positive by the Free Pollard campaign.

Gingrich became the first candidate in the presidential race to hint that he would free Pollard, telling CNN in an interview two weeks ago: “I am prepared to say my bias is towards clemency, and I would like to review it. He’s been in a very long time. But we are pretty tough about people spying on the United States.”

US President Barack Obama, who is likely to face off against Romney or Gingrich in November 2012, received a formal request for clemency for Pollard from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu more than a year ago and has not responded to it.


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