Jonathan Pollard in 1998 (freepollard.org)
Whether or not former Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard is still a man who knows too much cannot be considered in his effort to loosen the terms of his parole, a federal appellate judge said.
Pollard served 28 years in prison for a conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. Following his release, he challenged restrictions imposed by the U.S. Parole Commission that he wear a GPS tracking device and that his probation officer can search his computer without warning. Last year, Southern District Judge Katherine Forrest upheld the commission’s ruling.
In oral arguments Wednesday on Forrest’s decision before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Eliot Lauer of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle said the commission’s ruling was based on the fact that Pollard may still remember confidential information.
But Judge Reena Raggi said Lauer’s argument seems to put the burden of proof of whether the information is retained in Pollard’s mind, which she said “doesn’t seem to me to be something that we should explore.”
“The operation of his mind does not seem to me to be something that the government has to prove or that it has to take a chance on,” Raggi said. “The condition has to be rational.”
She was joined by Judge Susan Carney and Southern District Judge Lewis Kaplan, sitting by designation.
Rebecca Tinio, who appeared for the U.S. Parole Commission, told the panel that the conditions of Pollard’s parole are also based on his flight risk and to ensure he complies with “exclusion zones” where he is not allowed to roam. She also said James Clapper, the director of national intelligence until January, submitted a letter stating that the information that Pollard leaked remains classified.