Federal panel grants parole to Pollard

Jonathan Pollard, who has been imprisoned for 30 years for spying for Israel, has been granted parole following a unanimous vote by a federal parole panel. Photo: YouTube screen capture

Marcy Oster

The release date was set for November, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing Pollard’s attorneys. The announcement also said that the vote was not related to the Iran nuclear deal, according to the newspaper.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported Tuesday evening that the planned release date is Nov. 20. Pollard, who in 1987 was given a life sentence, was eligible for parole on Nov. 21, but his release date was pushed up a day since the 21st is a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.

The U.S. government does not oppose the release, Pollard’s attorneys told the Journal.  His only application for parole, filed last year, failed.

Pollard was arrested in 1985 while working as a civilian U.S. Navy analyst.

Pollards lawyers said in the announcement that under the terms of his parole, Pollard must remain in the U.S. for five years, according to the Journal. They said that they have asked President Barack Obama to use his clemency power to allow Pollard move to Israel immediately after his release.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Tuesday in Washington as he left a House of Representatives hearing on the Iran nuclear deal that the granting of parole is  not related to the agreement.