No Pollard pardon as Bush leaves office
Pollard's attorney: Petition was on president's desk and we had indications he would consider it.
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 20, 2009 22:20
(photo credit: AP)
George W. Bush did not pardon Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard on his last day as president of the United States, ending hopes that a president who boasted of his close ties with Israel would leave with this parting gesture to the Jewish state.
Pollard has been serving a life sentence in an American prison for some 24 years. A last-ditch campaign was conducted in an effort to persuade Bush to commute his sentence to time served, but it was not successful.
"The petition [to commute Pollard's sentence] was on the president's desk and we had indications that he would consider it along with other high-profile cases, but I don't know why he didn't accept it," said Pollard's attorney Larry Dub.
"We are disappointed because the commutation was long overdue but we will continue to fight."
Citing the sensitivity of the matter, spokespeople for President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declined to comment, or to reveal whether Pollard was raised in their conversations with Bush over the past few days.