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Jonathan Pollard

A 2005 demonstration for the release of Jonathan Pollard. (Nati Shohat, Flash90)

After serving 30 years in a US prison for charges of espionage, Jonathan Pollard has finally been released and will live in New York.

Longtime prisoner Jonathan Pollard has just left his US Federal Correction facility in Butner, North Carolina, after over 30 years of being held on espionage charges, his wife Esther announced Friday morning.

Esther and a number of Pollard’s closest confidantes were waiting to greet Pollard as he first tasted freedom, at 4:15 a.m. EST; from there they will set off for New York to begin their lives anew.

There in New York, a probation officer will be assigned to Pollard by the US Department of Justice, and will inspect to make sure the 61-year-old stays within all of the limitations placed on him. Any excursion beyond the immediate area of his residence will require the approval of the probation officer.

He will likewise be forbidden from flying to Israel – and will even be forbidden from checking the internet.

Pollard, who was arrested on charges of spying for Israel in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison, began his 31st year in jail as prisoner 09185-016 this past November. He has been suffering from poor health and has become the subject of a high-profile campaign for his release.

Last year, the Parole Board of the Justice Department rejected Pollard’s parole, with senior U.S. officials involved in the case writing to US President Barack Obama to complain that the decision was “deeply flawed”.

Once Pollard’s release was granted, however, controversy remained over the conditions of his parole, after Obama and other top-ranking officials refused to intervene to allow him to return home to Israel before the 5-year limit.

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Source: Israel National News