Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was released from prison early Friday, culminating an extraordinary espionage case that complicated American-Israeli relations for 30 years and became a periodic bargaining chip between two allies.
Within hours of his release, Pollard’s attorneys began a court challenge to terms of his parole that they called “onerous and oppressive,” including requiring him to wear an electronic GPS ankle bracelet and the monitoring of any computer that Pollard may use either personally or at a job.
Pollard was driven away from the federal prison at Butner, North Carolina, before dawn in heavy fog, and Larry Dub, a Pollard attorney, told Israel’s Army Radio that he was being driven to New York City.
Video later showed Pollard walking into a federal courthouse in Manhattan on Friday morning with his wife, Esther, to check in at a probation office.
“The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. “As someone who raised Jonathan’s case for years with successive American presidents, I had long hoped this day would come.”