NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former spy Jonathan Pollard is set to be paroled from a federal prison in North Carolina on Friday after being convicted for selling American intelligence secrets to Israel in 1985.
Pollard’s lawyers have said they have lined up housing and a job in the New York area, but he will also have some limited freedoms. According to one Pollard supporter, the 61-year-old will have to wear a GPS device to monitor his location and will be barred from using the Internet. He will also have a curfew.
Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was given a life sentence in 1987 after being convicted espionage for giving classified documents to Israeli handlers. His release was hotly debated for decades after.
Presidents Clinton and Bush both refused to free Pollard, even as Israeli politicians pressured them to do so. The United States has since eased up on their political stance in wake of the Iran nuclear deal.
In April 2014, the U.S. offered to release Pollard in an effort to kick-start peace talks in hopes of smoothing over tensions during negotiations. President Obama announced that a deal was made in July 2015.
In an exclusive 2014 interview with CBS2, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive director of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, said Secretary of State John Kerry made the offer as a carrot to the Israeli cabinet, so that its members would approve freedom for hundreds of Palestinians — and keep the faltering peace process alive for another nine months.
In July 2015, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported the United States was preparing to release Pollard when he was up for parole this November.
Pollard is also said to be in ailing health, Kramer reported.
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