A judge on Thursday refused to ease parole conditions for freed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard so he can begin work as a financial analyst.
The U.S. Parole Commission did not abuse its discretion when it required the 61-year-old former U.S. Navy intelligence research specialist to submit to a curfew and monitoring of work computers and his whereabouts, Manhattan U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest said Thursday.
Pollard’s lawyers had argued that the restrictions blocked him from accepting an offer to work as a financial analyst after his release from prison in November of last year.
In June 1986, Pollard pleaded guilty to conspiring to deliver national defense information to a foreign government, giving secrets to Israel. His release last year from a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina came nearly 30 years to the day after his arrest.
Prosecutors said he gave secrets to Israeli agents from June 1984 through November 1985.
At a recent hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Sol Tinio said restrictions were necessary because national security could be affected if Pollard shares knowledge from classified documents.
Pollard’s lawyer Eliot Lauer had argued that any information he had 30 years ago was “ridiculously stale” and couldn’t be remembered anyway.
The judge said a 12-hour curfew imposed on Pollard most days was not “irrational, arbitrary or otherwise an abuse of discretion.”
She said computer and travel monitoring conditions were not unconstitutional. She said the computer restriction was “reasonably related to the characteristics of Pollard and his crime.”
She noted that Pollard remains in the custody of the U.S. attorney general for the rest of his life sentence and any effort to leave the country would violate his parole.
“It would also, if successful, all but erase the United States’ ability to ensure that Pollard complied with the terms of his plea agreement and committed no further crimes,” the judge said.
A government spokesman declined to comment Thursday. A lawyer for Pollard did not immediately return a message seeking comment.