HCJ temporarily denies Pollard petition

Olmert ordered to justify within 3 weeks Eitan's appointment to minister post.

pollard passport 248.88 (photo credit: Brian Hendler)
pollard passport 248.88
(photo credit: Brian Hendler)
The High Court of Justice on Tuesday temporarily denied a petition filed by Jonathan and Esther Pollard charging that the appointment of Gil Pensioners Party Chairman Rafi Eitan to the cabinet was "unreasonable to an extreme degree," and that the court had the right to intervene in a political agreement between two parties. The High Court of Justice, however, did order Interim Prime Minster Ehud Olmert to take three weeks in order to present an explanation as to why he deemed Eitan fit for a ministerial post. The judge, Salim Jubran, refused to release an order preventing Eitan from being appointed by Olmert. The Pollards have also charged that Eitan is in possession of a secret document which could gain Pollard's release from prison were he to hand it over to the Americans. According to the petition, filed by attorneys Nitzana Darshan-Leitner and Larry Dub, the document includes a list of all the classified documents that Pollard handed over to Israel in 1984 and 1985. Darshan-Leitner and Dub called on the High Court of Justice to nullify the provision in the coalition agreement between Kadima and Gil according to which Eitan will serve as a cabinet minister.
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Eitan was in charge of a spy operation called Lekem, which enlisted Pollard, then working for the US Navy. Pollard provided information on the deployment of Arab military forces and many other classified information taken from US military intelligence. He was arrested by the FBI on November 21, 1985 and sentenced to life imprisonment. "Even today, Eitan refuses to help Pollard," the lawyers wrote. "For 21 years he has refused to hand over to the Americans or the proper authorities in the Israeli government a document that is in his sole possession and regarding which he holds the only copy, and which the prime minister could use to save Pollard." "The Americans have never been certain that they received from Israel all the documents the Pollard provided during his service to Israel," they continued. "Had Eitan handed over this document to the Americans at any time during these past 21 years, the Americans would have closed the affair, knowing Israel had returned all the material. This document would have lifted all the accusations that were fabricated against Pollard." The lawyers also charged that Eitan refused to help Pollard escape from the US after the FBI began investigating him. Instead, he lied to Pollard, telling him to stall for time so that the Israelis involved in the affair could return to Israel and avoid arrest. Eitan deliberately used Pollard as a scapegoat and left him behind to take the rap, they charged.