Lawrence Korb, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Jonathan Pollard affair, told a news conference on Tuesday that Pollard did not deserve to receive a life sentence.
Korb noted that the usual sentence for offenses similar to those made by Pollard is only seven years, adding that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu raised the issue during his first term in office with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and almost managed to get Pollard to be freed.
Now, he said, is the time to release Pollard from prison.
“Jonathan did not plead guilty nor was he convicted of treason,” said Korb. “He pleaded guilty to providing information to a friendly country. Jonathan didn’t have a trial. He spared [the government] a trial, he pleaded guilty and was not supposed to get a life sentence.”
He added that what led the judge in Pollard’s case to break the plea agreement and sentence Pollard to life was the fact that he gave an interview to the media from the prison.
“The judge was left with the impression that this was unauthorized, but as you well know, you don’t show up in a prison and just walk in with a photographer and your notepad without government permission,” said Korb, adding that the interview “was authorized by the government, but the judge was led to believe that wasn’t the case.”
“Jonathan did not provide anything to the Israelis that would compromise American security,” Korb stressed.
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