Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s lawyer Eliot Lauer filed a notice to appeal US District Judge Katherine Forrest’s decision to keep in place restrictive parole conditions imposed on Pollard, Lauer said Tuesday.
Forrest, on August 12, rejected Pollard’s request to cancel requirements imposed by the US Parole Commission that prevent him from leaving his New York home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.; force him to submit any computer he uses for inspection; and require him to wear a GPS-monitoring device that forces him to break the Sabbath. The conditions were imposed when he was released from prison November 20 after serving 30 years of a life sentence for spying for Israel.
Forrest ruled that the commission had a rational basis for imposing the conditions, including Pollard’s expressed desire to leave the United States for Israel. As part of his parole, Pollard must remain in the United States for five years.
During court proceedings, Forrest said that even if the court were to come to a different conclusion than the government over the parole restrictions, the “rational basis” test only required that the parole commission’s restrictions be grounded in some rational basis – a low legal burden.
Lauer will argue in his appeal that the parole commission had imposed arbitrary requirements and that it was inconceivable that Pollard could still disclose government secrets from more than 30 years ago.
Sources close to Pollard said they believed Forrest gave the parole commission too much leeway and that appellate court judges will see it differently. They said that, while he is prevented from working by the parole conditions, he is reading and taking care of his health.
National Council of Young Israel executive vice president emeritus Rabbi Pesach Lerner, who is close to Pollard, called upon the public to keep praying for Pollard and keep reminding elected officials in Israel and the United States that justice has not yet been done.
“Although he was disappointed, Jonathan is strong and he is a fighter,” Lerner said. “He lost this battle, but we hope he will still win the war.”