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White House: No Change on Pollard (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Yitzhak Benhorin Latest Update: 06.13.12, 23:53) Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4242185,00.html
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Ahead of President Peres´ request for pardon for ailing spy, White House spokesman says Obama unlikely to grant Pollard clemency. ´Our position has not changed,´ he says
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WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama is unlikely to grant President Shimon Peres´ request for clemency for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.
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White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that given the nature of Pollard´s crimes, it was doubtful that the US would change its position on the matter.
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Pollard was convicted of espionage in 1986 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. His term is set to end on November 2015, but his failing health has prompted a massive campaign for his early release.
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President Peres, who is on a six-day visit in the US, during which he will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is planning to ask that Obama grant a presidential pardon to Pollard on humanitarian grounds.
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Washington, however, remains unrelenting on the matter: "Our position has not changed and will not change today," Carney told journalists at a daily briefing.
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"I would simply remind you that Mr. Pollard was convicted of very serious crimes."
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Still, the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home expressed hope that Obama would have a change of heart: "We hope that President Obama will think favorably on the personal, humanitarian request of the president of Israel – which is the United States´ biggest friend."
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The Justice for Pollard campaign issued a statement saying that "The White House statement that its position on Jonathan Pollard has not changed, is not new and it is not news.
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"If there were anything significant in the White House statement today, it was the additional comment that the White House position ´will not change TODAY.´ This comes as no surprise.
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"At this time the fate of Jonathan Pollard continues to hang in the balance. The Pollards urge everyone to intensify their efforts and to redouble their prayers." (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 06/13/12)
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