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July 26, 2016 / 20 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Clemency’

Obama Promises Peres A-G Will ‘Check Into’ Pollard

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama assured Israel’s outgoing President Shimon Peres on Wednesday he would ask Attorney-General Eric Holder to “check into” an offer that Peres made regarding the case of former Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.

Peres’s office submitted his request to the White House prior to arriving for what will be his last official state visit as Israel’s president.

“I made an offer but won’t go into details about it,” he told reporters on Wednesday. However, he did discuss the specifics with members of the Pollard family, he said, before presenting the plan to Obama.

“If I share too many details it will just ruin things,” he said at the briefing. “I cannot say that [the president] responded positively on the spot. I don’t want to add to what he said, which was that the U.S. Attorney-General would decide.”

Pollard is entering his 29th year of incarceration in a North Carolina prison after being convicted in 1985 on a single charge of passing classified information to an allied nation, Israel. The crime usually carries a maximum penalty of up to four years in jail. But although Pollard’s attorneys worked out a plea bargain with the prosecution, during the sentencing a note was passed to the judge. Suddenly Pollard was charged with and convicted of treason without recourse to a new trial. His attorney had no access to the evidence that had apparently led to the new charges, which was locked due to “national security” — and instead Pollard found himself sentenced to life in prison. All attempts at appeal have since failed.

Since Peres was serving as Israel’s prime minister at the time of Pollard’s arrest, and since it was he who submitted the documents to the U.S. with Pollard’s fingerprints that were used to incriminate him, it is Peres who is most likely to persuade Obama now to grant clemency for humanitarian reasons.

He and Obama also share a unique status as being the only two current heads of state in the world who are both Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Pollard’s health has deteriorated significantly over the past several years, and the request by Peres is reportedly to be based on the issues of Pollard’s extremely poor health, the impact on his wife, and the length of his time already served — in short, humanitarian reasons. At age 90, Peres this year retires from politics and made a promise to Pollard’s wife and the people of Israel prior to his departure that he would try to win her husband’s release during his visit to the U.S. He is scheduled to meet again with Obama Thursday.

Hana Levi Julian

Elliott Abrams Calls for Pollard’s Release

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Elliott Abrams, a former U.S. deputy national security advisor, said Jonathan Pollard should be released from prison.

“I think that there is a just and a humanitarian case for his release,” Abrams told i24 news, an international 24-hour news and current affairs television channel based in Tel Aviv, in an interview Friday.

Pollard is in the 29th year of a life sentence in a U.S. prison for spying for Israel while a civilian U.S. Navy analyst.

“I don’t think he’s a hero,” Abrams told i24, “but the way to judge it is by the normal treatment like other cases of espionage and it’s hard to find someone — particularly in the case of a friendly country — that has been imprisoned for 29 years.”

Abrams served as deputy national security advisor under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009.

An increasing number of figures involved in government when Pollard was given his life sentence in 1987 now say his sentence should be commuted. The calls to release Pollard have intensified in the last year, with pleas from lawmakers and former top officials of both U.S. political parties.

The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, last week said the continued imprisonment of Pollard is “on the verge of anti-Semitism.”

Pollard is up for parole in less than two years.

JTA

Peres Commutes Sentence of 6 Israeli-Arab Killers of IDF Soldiers

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

During the coming months, the Israeli Prison Service is expected to decide on the release of 6 Israeli-Arabs who committed murderous terror attacks. The first review is expected as early as September 17, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Following the Shalit deal, in which 1,027 terrorists were released in exchange for an Israeli IDF soldier held hostage by Hamas, Israeli President Shimon Peres shortened the prison terms of at least 6 Israeli-Arabs, in jail for terror attacks. Two of the terrorists, Mahar Yunis and Karim Yunis, killed IDF soldier Avraham Greenberg in the 1980s. Four others, Ibrahim Biadsa, Valid Daka, Rushdi Abu-Moch and Ibrahim Abu-Moch killed IDF soldier Moshe Tamam, also in the ’80s.

In addition, in February 2014, another terrorist, Halaf Gumah Ahmad, who killed Israeli citizen Hanan Gur, is expected to be released.

These and other pre-Oslo terrorists were on the list that PA President Abu Mazin demanded be released following the Shalit deal.

These six terrorists were originally given death sentences, which were commuted to life in prison.

But a year and a half ago, Peres and the Pardons Department in the Ministry of Justice decided to commute their life sentences to 35 and 40 years – putting them on the fast track to being released.

Relatives of the murdered men met with attorney Emi Palmor, Director of the Dept. of Pardons in the Ministry of Justice, but she couldn’t provide satisfactory answers to the families as to why the men were being released. Israel’s internal security service, the Shabak, has also recommended that these particular prisoners not be released, and the presidential gesture is also being contested by the Netanyahu government, which was bypassed in the decision.

Two taboos were broken when the decision was made to start releasing these particular terrorists. The first one was releasing Israeli-Arabs in order to appease the Palestinian Authority, and the second was releasing terrorists who murdered IDF soldiers.

Some government officials are claiming that the decision to release these terrorists is purely professional. For 25 years they were denied pardons, while other murderers have been released after shorter stints behind bars.

There is still a chance that these six terrorists won’t be released, as they don’t meet the typical release criteria, one of which is expressing regret for their actions, something most of these terrorists haven’t done.

Shalom Bear

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/peres-pardons-6-arab-killers-of-idf-soldiers/2013/09/07/

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