Pollard's lawyer urges court to loosen parole conditions

Lawyer for Jonathan Pollard tells appeals court his restrictive parole conditions serve no legitimate purpose.

Ben Ariel ,

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard

A lawyer for Jonathan Pollard on Wednesday urged a U.S. appeals court to loosen his parole conditions, Reuters reports.

Pollard was arrested on charges of spying for Israel in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison before his release in November of 2015.

He was released under restrictive conditions, however, including being forced to wear an electronic tracking device, adhere to a curfew and submit his computers to monitoring.

Lawyer Eliot Lauer argued to a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Wednesday that the conditions serve no legitimate purpose.

Pollard’s lawyers say his parole conditions have prevented him from having a job.

Lauer said on Wednesday there was no rational basis for the government to think Pollard "might retain details in his head about documents created 32 to 33 years ago" that he could disclose.

Circuit Judge Reena Raggi, however, pressed Lauer to explain why Pollard's crime was not enough to justify the conditions.

"Why is it the government's obligation to take the chance that he's forgotten something and it pops into his mind, or he does retain it?" she asked, as quoted by Reuters.

Lauer responded that there must be some rational basis for the government's position.

Rebecca Tinio, a lawyer for the government, said the conditions imposed by the U.S. parole commission were "well within in its broad discretion."