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Shamir Refuses to Report on Pollard Case

March 09, 1987|Associated Press

TEL AVIV — Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir today refused to report on the Jonathan Jay Pollard affair to a Parliament committee, saying that he sees no need for further investigation of the case of the American spy and that Israelis involved already have been severely punished.

At Shamir's behest, the Cabinet voted Sunday to refer ministerial debate over the case to a secret 10-member Cabinet committee, prompting criticism from several ministers who had demanded a judicial inquiry. (Story on Page 8.)

Israel radio said the Cabinet move ended any chance for an independent probe.

Shamir told Israel radio today: "I think that this affair, disclosed and made public 15 months ago, has been investigated enough.

"It is known to those responsible for such matters in the country and I don't see any need to investigate further, and the majority (of ministers) thinks like I do."

Refusal Causes Furor

The radio said Shamir, a member of the right-wing Likud bloc, told Parliament's key Foreign Affairs and Security Committee today that he has no intention of reporting to it on the Pollard affair. His refusal caused a furor among committee members belonging to the left-leaning Labor Party, the radio said.

Committee Chairman Abba Eban said Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin is to give a detailed report on the scandal Thursday to a subcommittee dealing with intelligence activities.

Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst, was sentenced in the United States last week to life in prison for selling classified military information to Israel.

Shamir said Col. Aviem Sella, who allegedly recruited and acted as a contact for Pollard, had stood an excellent chance of becoming commander of Israel's air force "in the not-so-far future."

But Sella lost the chance because of his involvement with Pollard, Shamir said, adding that "for him this is a very painful blow, a heavy punishment."

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