Jonathan Pollard, the Navy intelligence analyst whose 1985 arrest for transmitting secrets to Israel set off a sensational spy saga, is scheduled to be released from federal prison next week, marking the end of a three-decade diplomatic burr in the relationship between the two allies, the AP reports.
Pollard, 61, had been serving a life sentence, but was granted parole this year under sentencing rules in place at the time of his prosecution that made him presumptively eligible for release this month.
Although the decision from the U.S. Parole Commission came around the same time as a sharp disagreement between the U.S. and the Israeli governments over a nuclear deal with Iran, officials from both countries have denied the release was in any way tied to that arrangement, or was intended as a concession to Israel.
The release is scheduled for next Friday.
Pollard’s plans aren’t immediately clear. His lawyers said after the parole decision in July that he had lined up a job and housing in the New York area. His lawyers have said that he will be required to remain in the United States for five years, though they called on President Barack Obama to grant him clemency and permit him to move to Israel immediately.
But the White House quickly shot down that prospect, saying Pollard had committed “very serious crimes” and the president had “no intention of altering the terms of Mr. Pollard’s parole.”