Local News

Exclusive WRAL-TV Interview With Convicted Israeli Spy

Posted May 14, 1998

— The world listened to a significant plea at Butner Federal Prison Friday.

An Israeli delegation traveled to Granville County trying to win the freedom of convicted spy Jonathon Pollard.

Pollard is the only person ever to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally.

For passing classified documents to the Israeli government in the 1980's, Pollard has spent much of the past 13 years in the federal prison in Butner.

Pollard and the Israeli government said that it is now time to let the convicted spy go free. WRAL Reporter Mark Roberts:"A lot of people think that you are a spy who turned on his nation, any response to those people?" Convicted spy Jonathon Pollard:"First of all, I was a spy."

Pollards smiled when reflecting on the past, but said that it is a past he deeply regrets. Pollard:"I don't believe that anybody looking at my case could possibly assume that I got away with anything. I was hammered hard. I am not a hero. I am nobodys role model."

Pollards role was to pass US intelligence on Iraq to Israel in 1985. After 13 years of denial, the Israeli government now admits that Pollard was their agent, acting on their orders.

An Israeli delegation visited Pollard at Butner and asked President Clinton to commute his sentence.

Israeli Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh said, "He expressed his regret clearly and clearly again and again. So it is about time on this basis... to release him from jail." Pollard:"You can't love two countries at the same time to the same degree; just as you can't love, in a sense, two women equally. One has to suffer."

Pollard said that he has suffered enough, and admits that he should not have taken international intelligence into his own hands. Pollard:"But to simply go to somebody appropriate and ask for their advise, that is something I didn't do, and it was a terrible mistake. And I paid a very terrible price for that mistake."

The White House has not given an official response to this situation.

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