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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July, 2005, 00:36 GMT 01:36 UK
Israel spy loses US jail appeal
By Oliver Conway
BBC News, Washington

Jonathan Pollard in 1998
Pollard has been given Israeli citizenship
A spy who sold US military secrets to Israel has lost an appeal to have his life sentence reduced.

Jonathan Pollard, a former civilian US naval intelligence analyst, was caught in 1985 after handing over more than 1,000 of pages of classified material.

He argued he had not been given adequate legal assistance but US judges said his case was not convincing.

The Pollard case dramatically soured ties between Israel and the US who are normally seen as the best of friends.

The Israeli government, which has given Jonathan Pollard citizenship, has repeatedly called for his release.

Clemency hopes

Arrested outside the Israeli embassy in Washington after being refused asylum, Pollard admitted spying and was jailed for life in 1987.

Pollard, who is Jewish, said the secret documents he had handed over were being deliberately and wrongly withheld from Israel by elements within the US security establishment.

The three judges ruled that he had waited too long to bring his challenge and had failed to make a convincing case.

The appeals court also said it did not have the authority to review Pollard's request to see secret documents submitted by the Reagan administration to the judge who imposed the life sentence.

Pollard says prosecutors reneged on a promise to seek a lesser sentence in return for his co-operation.

His supporters still hope to win clemency from the president.


SEE ALSO:
Israeli spy issue resurfaces
13 Dec 98 |  Middle East
Israel admits it spied on US
12 May 98 |  Americas
Fifty years of spies
20 Feb 01 |  Americas


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