Korb: Declassify documents that incriminated Pollard

ByGIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF
October 31, 2010 10:22

Pollard has never been allowed to challenge claims in the documents; his attorneys have never been allowed access to portions of sentencing file.

2 minute read.



Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard 311. (photo credit:Courtesy)

Documents submitted by the late American defense secretary Caspar Weinberger that were used to incriminate Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard should no longer be classified, Weinberger’s deputy at the time of Pollard's arrest, Lawrence Korb, said over the weekend.

Korb said there was no reason not to hand over the documents. But their declassification is considered very unlikely.

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Since he was sentenced, Pollard has never been allowed to challenge the claims in the documents in court. His security-cleared attorneys have never been allowed access to the secret portions of his sentencing file, though those who oppose his release have had access and used it against him.

New York Senator Charles Schumer and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who have seen the documents, have said publicly that there was nothing in them to justify the life sentence Pollard has been serving for 25 years. But Pollard cannot return to court, because all his legal avenues have been exhausted, so he is seeking clemency from US president Barack Obama.

In an opinion piece published in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times, Korb wrote that Pollard deserved to be severely punished for his actions but that his punishment does not fit the crime he committed of giving classified information to a US ally.

Korb noted that in return for his guilty plea – which spared the government the embarrassment of conducting a trial involving highly sensitive information – and his cooperation with the US government, the US attorney pledged not to seek a life sentence for Pollard.

He suggested three reasons why he was still given a life sentence in complete in violation of a plea agreement which Pollard honored and the US violated: a false affidavit submitted to the sentencing judge by Weinberger which is still  classified; the Israeli government's more than 10 years of refusal to acknowledge that Pollard was one of its agents; and Pollard's lack of remorse for his actions - a charge which has been repeatedly refuted.

Korb said that since then Weinberger's false contentions had been debunked, the Israeli government admitted that Pollard was its agent, and Pollard himself has publicly expressed remorse on multiple occasions.

“Some now argue that Pollard should be released because it would improve US-Israeli relations and enhance the prospects of success of the Obama administration's Middle East peace process,” Korb wrote.

“Although that may be true, it is not the reason I and many others have recently written to the president requesting that he grant Pollard clemency. The reason is that Pollard has already served far too long for the crime for which he was convicted, and by now, whatever facts he might know would have little effect on national security.”

Former Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan, during a Sunday interview on Army Radio, responded to Korb's comments and claimed that the Israeli government cooperated with the investigation into Pollard's actions and then-prime minister Shimon Peres invited US defense teams to Israel.

Eitan, who was Pollard's Israeli handler, called on the US to investigate recent evidence that has come to light and reopen the investigation. 

Eitan also said that he cooperated with Alan Dershowitz, American attorney and long-time supporter of Justice for Pollard.

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