Freed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s lawyer faced a skeptical appeals judge as he tried Wednesday to convince a three-judge panel to ease his client’s parole conditions.
Pollard’s lawyer Eliot Lauer tried to win a relaxation of conditions requiring Pollard to submit to a curfew and monitoring of his workplace computer and his whereabouts. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not immediately rule.
Circuit Judge Reena Raggi seemed to side with the government, saying parole conditions only had to be rational.
“It doesn’t have to be supported by a preponderance of the evidence or any other proof,” she said.
Pollard was freed in 2015 after serving 30 years for giving secrets to Israel. He pleaded guilty in 1986. Prosecutors say he gave secrets to Israeli agents in 1984 and 1985 when he worked as an intelligence research specialist in the U.S. Navy.
Lauer argued that it was unfair to force a financial company that wishes to employ Pollard to submit to computer monitoring.
“There’s simply no legitimate government purpose other than creating an embarrassment and a burden on Pollard to hold a white collar job,” he said. “It’s simply unfair to expect a financial firm to have computer monitoring. This is not a situation where you’ve got a pedophile or a drug dealer where you can put some search terms in and block it,” Lauer said. “You cannot today, as a college graduate, have a white collar job and not use the internet. And effectively this prevents that.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Sol Tinio said the parole conditions were reasonable, especially for someone serving a life sentence who remains under the jurisdiction of parole authorities.
She called him an “extraordinary and very unusual parolee” who caused “enormous harm to the United States.”
In June 1986, Pollard pleaded guilty to conspiring to deliver national defense information to a foreign government, giving secrets to Israel.