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September 05, 2003 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-05

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Awaiting Decision

From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.

Pollard gets another day in court, but must wait for judge's ruling.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

ust getting another day in court
was a victory of sorts for
Jonathan Pollard.
Sentenced to life imprison-
ment in 1987 for spying for Israel,
Pollard for years had tried to get a new
hearing, arguing that his former counsel
was inept and that the government
broke a plea bargain agreement when it
convinced the judge at his trial to give
him a life sentence.
On Tuesday, Pollard appeared in U.S.
District Court in Washington, the first
time he has been seen in public since
his sentencing 16 years ago. A packed
courtroom heard Pollard's pro bono
defense attorneys demand what they
said was justice for the former Navy
analyst, who confessed to passing mili-
tary secrets to Israel.
Over and over again, attorney Jacques
Semmelman argued that Pollard's origi-
nal attorney, Richard Hibey, had been
guilty of ineffective assistance of coun-
sel, thereby denying Pollard his right to
a fair trial. Pollard already has served
longer than any other spy similarly con-
Semmelman repeatedly reminded
Judge Thomas Hogan that Hibey, with-
out explanation, never objected to the
government's breach of its written plea
agreement not to ask for a life sentence;
failed to ask for an evidentiary hearing
regarding a last-minute, secret declara-
tion by then-Defense Secretary Caspar
Weinberger outlining Pollard's allegedly
extensive damage to U.S. interests; and
failed to file the routine notice of appeal
required within 10 days of the court
Hibey has repeatedly declined to dis-
cuss the case.
Weinberger has admitted that his
sworn declaration, in many ways the
basis for Pollard's life sentence, "was
made far bigger than its actual impor-
Judge Hogan did not rule on the
request for a reduction of Pollard's sen-


9/ 5



Jonathan Pollard center, arrives at US.
District Court in Washington on Sept. 2.
It was the first time Pollard has been seen
in public since 1987, when he received a
life sentence.

tence or on his attorneys' request to be
able to see the secret documents.
Wearing green leisure clothes and a
beige knit yarmulke, Pollard was
brought to the courtroom Tuesday
without shackles and took a seat
between Semmelman and his lead attor-
ney, Eliot Lauer. His lawyers were
backed up by two hired public relations
managers, a contingent of rabbis led by
former Israeli Chief Rabbi Mordechai
Eliyahu, Pollard's wife, Esther, and Rep.
Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.
Lauer appealed to the judge to allow
Pollard's attorneys access to the secret
documents behind the Weinberger dec-
laration, which the government main-
tains are too secret for defense counsel
to examine. Judge Hogan asked prose-
cutors several times whether the infor-
mation from more than a decade and a
half ago is "stale" or "no longer has its
status" as top secret.
In a conversation with JTA, Weiner
said he was the only member of
Congress actually to examine the secret
documents that have been denied to


Pollard's current attorneys. He exam-
ined them in 1999 in the presence of
security officers in the office of the
House of Representatives' Intelligence
Weiner declined to characterize the
documents or divulge their contents.
But based on what he read, he said, he
disagrees with both the public and
secret portions of the Weinberger decla-
"No case in American history has
been treated so harshly," Weiner said.
Pollard "should have never been sen-
tenced to life."
That view was seconded by Jewish
leaders. "It's time for the president to
release Pollard on humanitarian
grounds," said Seymour Reich, a former
chairman of the Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations who was in the court-
room representing the conference's
Pollard committee. "Eighteen years is
enough time."
Abraham Cooper, the associate dean
of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los
Angeles, hailed the hearing as "a major
achievement" for Pollard's attorneys. He
added that he saw "great significance in
the fact that the judge summoned
Pollard up from Butner" — the North
Carolina prison where he is being held
— "to attend his hearing."
Rabbi Eliyahu came from Israel for
the hearing. "I came here all the way
from Tel Aviv to see justice done for
Jonathan Pollard and bring Jonathan
back to Jerusalem," he said.
Rabbi Eliyahu led a prayer session in
the rain outside the courthouse after the
hearing. Asked if he thought Pollard
would be released, Rabbi Eliyahu
looked at the sky and said, 'Anything
can happen."
A spokesman for Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon, Ra'anan Gissin,
declined to comment on the hearing,
but said Israel was still working for
Pollard's release.
U.S. Government lawyers said they
were under strict orders from the U.S.
Attorney's Office not to comment on
Tuesday's proceedings.

The renovated Jimmy Prentis
Morris Building of the Jewish
Community Center in Oak Park is

A $100,000 annual cash prize is
established by the Jabotinsky
Foundation to honor the person
who has done the most for the
rights of the Jewish people. The
prize is named for Vladimir
Jabotinsky, the Zionist leader who
died in 1940.

A new central bus station, the
largest in the world, will open in
Tel Aviv.

Dr. Simon Noveck, rabbi of the
Emanuel Synagogue in Hartford,
Conn., will be guest speaker at
Congregation Ahavas Achim in
Paul Zuckerman, president of
Velvet Food Products, will be one
of three Detroiters who will receive
Knights of Charity awards from
Marygrove College at an interfaith
dinner at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

' *It‘

Detroit swimmer Minna
Weisenfeld will be the only
Michigan representative to partici-
pate in the fourth annual Maccabi-
ah Games in Tel Aviv this month.

a‘vx -kx.

The Turover Aid Society, in collab-
oration with the B'nai Zvi Family
Club, rents a building on
McNichols to serve as a synagogue
for the High Holidays to accom-
modate worshippers in that section
of Detroit.
Former national president of
Hadassah, Mrs. Moses P. Epstein,
will open the membership luncheon
for Detroit Hadassah next week.

— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El

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