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Israeli spy imprisoned by US pleads for better conditions

Pollard pleaded guilty of passing on sensitive intelligence documents to Israel in 1986 [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 May, 2017

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Jonathon Pollard's lawyer said that any information he held was now over 30 years old and his parole conditions were excessive.

The lawyer for a convicted Israeli spy in the United States’ military pleaded on Wednesday for an easing of his parole conditions.

Eliot Lauer, representing Jonathan Pollard, 62, a former US Navy intelligence officer who served 30 years in prison for spying for Israel, said the parole conditions were excessive and ‘served no purpose’.

Lauer said there was no reason to assume Pollard "might retain details in his head about documents created 32 to 33 years ago", Reuters reports.

A former FBI director, James Clapper, told the court that some of the documents Lauer had released were still classified.

The judges heard that Lauer wanted to move to Israel to be with his wife.

One judge said it was a risk to allow Lauer to return to Israel, just in case he remembered the details of some of the documents.

"Why is it the government's obligation to take the chance that he's forgotten something and it pops into his mind, or he does retain it?" said Judge Reena Raggi.

Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 and served 30 years before being released on parole on 20 November.

He pleaded guilty in 1986 to conspiracy to commit espionage after he handed over hundreds of classified US military documents to Israeli contacts in exchange for money.

As part of his parole, he must remain in the United States for 5 years, consent to wearing an electronic tracking device, stick to a curfew and submit his computers for regular monitoring.

Rebecca Tinio, a government lawyer, said the parole conditions were "well within in its broad discretion."

The court is currently drawing a decision on the case and its verdict will be heard shortly.

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