Jonathan Pollard, the former civilian Navy analyst who pleaded guilty to spying on the United States for Israel, was sentenced Wednesday to life imprisonment.
Chief Judge Aubrey Robinson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia also sentenced Pollard’s wife, Anne Henderson — Pollard, 26, to two concurrent five-year terms on charges of being an accessory to her husband’s espionage activities and receiving stolen government material.
The 32-year-old Pollard stood with his right arm behind his wife as the sentences were being pronounced. When Robinson announced the life sentence, Mrs. Pollard yelled “No, no” and fell to the floor.
When her sentence was pronounced she collapsed again, screaming. She could be heard screaming after being taken from the courtroom.
U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova indicated that neither Pollard had a chance for parole and both would have to serve their full sentences.
PLEADED FOR MERCY FOR EACH OTHER
Robinson sentenced the two Pollards after three hours of testimony in which husband and wife pleaded for mercy for each other and expressed their mutual love.
“I pray to God every day that I’ll be reunited with my husband,” Mrs. Pollard said. “That’s all I live for.”
She wept through much of the hearing and appeared to be in pain from a gastrointestinal disorder from which she suffers. The hearing was recessed twice to allow her to receive medical attention.
Richard Hibey, Mr. Pollard’s lawyer, argued that while there was “no excuse” for what Pollard did there was “no intent” to harm the U.S. and there was no damage done to the U.S.
He said the information was not given to an enemy of the U.S., but to a country that “except for England and Canada, is our closest ally.”
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Leeper argued that the information did damage the U.S., as Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger noted in classified information presented to the court.
He said Pollard was a “very dangerous man” and if not given a long sentence could still provide classified information from his memory.
‘MAY BENEFIT THIS COUNTRY’
Pollard told Robinson that while he now know he was wrong to break the law, “I was not intending to hurt the United States, but to help an ally. What I did may benefit this country in the long run.”
In newspaper interviews, Pollard said he acted because he found that the U.S. was not providing Israel with information about arms going to its Arab neighbors and endangering the existence of the Jewish State.
But he said Wednesday he now realizes he should have taken his concerns through the channels of the Navy and as far as the President rather than commit an illegal act.
Pollard said that he not only broke his trust as a government employee, but an even more important trust, to his wife. “Unfortunately, I sacrificed her, inadvertently … on the altar of political ideology,” he said.
SAID SHE DIDN’T SAY
Both Pollards stressed that although Mrs. Pollard knew what her husband was doing, she had not participated in his espionage activities. She said she became involved when after he knew his espionage had been uncovered, he called her, using a previously arranged codeword, and she sought to get rid of the government papers in their apartment.
Both Pollards stressed that they were sorry that their activities has caused harm to U.S.-Israeli relations. Mr. Pollard “undertook his actions because he believed he was doing good for both the United States and Israel,” his wife said.
She said that after her husband called her on Nov. 18, 1985, she turned to her husband’s handler, Israeli Air Force Col. Aviem Sella for help.
ALLOWED ISRAELIS TO FLEE
This allowed the Israelis involved to leave the country. A U.S. court on Tuesday indicted Sella, recently named commander of a major Israeli air base, on three charges of espionage. He is not expected to stand trial, unless he returns to the U.S.
The attorneys for the two Pollards argued that both of their clients had been threatened in prison, partly as a result of anti-Semitism, and had to be kept in isolation.
Robinson indicated that Mrs. Pollard had harmed her case by her appearance on CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” last Sunday. He also indicated that Pollard had violated the judge’s order to clear all statements he made with the Navy in his interview with The Jerusalem Post.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.