The Knesset State Control Committee unanimously decided on Monday to ask State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to prepare a special report on governmental efforts over the years to secure the release of Johnathon Pollard.
The report, which will be compiled by Lindenstrauss within a few months, will be confidential, except for certain clauses that the chairwoman of the Subcommittee for Foreign Affairs and Publicity, MK Amira Dotan (Kadima), will approve for release.
Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, was convicted of selling military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon. He was arrested in 1985 and pleaded guilty at his trial. He is serving a life sentence in a U.S. federal prison.
Lindenstrauss said on Monday that Pollard has sent him letters from prison requesting that he compile a critical report on the government efforts to secure his freedom. The state comptroller said that because of the importance of the issue, he would give this report special attention.
MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party), who chairs the State Control Committee" said that after 22 years in jail, it is fitting to look into why Pollard is still "rotting in jail.
MK Uri Ariel, who leads the Knesset lobby for the release of Pollard, said that although 112 MKs have signed various petitions endorsing Pollard's release, the documents never reached the U.S. government.
Former prime minister "Ariel Sharon, who signed the petition, claimed he 'forgot' it at home when he visited President Bush. Even after this strange claim, he didn't bother to send the petition to the government in the U.S.," Ariel said.
Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel said that the "Israeli government has constantly tried to release Pollard, and that's how we'll continue. The public is not aware of all the efforts, some of which are confidential."
He added that, "Pollard's personal misery is not hidden from the prime minister's eyes, who receives updates on his medical condition. The only consideration is state security, and the goal is to bring Pollard home."
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