NEW YORK (Apr. 2)
After 40 months in federal prisons and a halfway house, Anne Henderson Pollard, wife of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, was released on mandatory parole last Friday.
Pollard received two concurrent five-year sentences after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact to her husband’s possession of classified documents in their apartment.
Jonathan Pollard pleaded guilty in June 1986 to passing classified U.S. documents to Israel. He has since filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, contending the government failed to live up to its responsibilities under the plea bargain.
Both Pollards feel that their punishment five years for Anne and life imprisonment in solitary confinement for Jonathan – has been excessively severe.
According to the Justice for the Pollards advocacy group, Anne Pollard is the only person to be prosecuted or imprisoned as an accessory after the fact on any charge in the United States after a perpetrator pleaded guilty to a crime and cooperated with authorities.
The group also says she is the only person ever imprisoned for someone else’s possession of classified documents.
“She was merely an accessory after the fact,” said Mark Baker, an attorney working on her case. “All she did was remove some documents from her house at her husband’s request. She may have known in general what the documents contained, but she did not aid her husband’s giving documents to Israel in any way.”
The Pollards claim they were targeted for particularly harsh punishment by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and former Attorney General Edwin Meese.
“It’s been called the American Dreyfus case,” said Baker. “There were elements of the U.S. government intent on making her life as unpleasant as possible.”