Pollard parole conditions going under review


(JTA) — A federal judge has called on the U.S. Parole Commission to explain why it has imposed such strict conditions on Jonathan Pollard’s parole.

On Monday, Judge Katherine Forrest of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan sent the Pollard case back to the commission for further review. The decision came in response to an appeal of the parole conditions filed by attorneys for Pollard, who was released last month after spending 30 years in a federal prison for spying for Israel.

The restrictive conditions for Pollard’s five-year parole include wearing an electronic ankle bracelet with GPS tracking and surveillance of his and any employer’s computers. He also is confined to his New York home between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. — a condition, Pollard’s attorneys argue, that has interfered with his ability to observe the Jewish Sabbath and certain holidays, and could preclude him from holding down a job.

Forrest said the commission provided insufficient evidence to justify the parole conditions, but said she would not change them until the commission further defends its decision. The judge reportedly called on the commission to reassess whether Pollard is still in possession of secret information that he could publicly disclose.

The U.S. Justice Department says much of the information that Pollard disclosed to Israel remains classified.

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