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Judge rejects convicted spy's challenges

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal judge turned down an effort Thursday by convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to have his 1987 life sentence reconsidered and gain access to government documents he hoped would lead to a pardon.

Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel, wanted the court to force prosecutors to turn over the secret documents. The former Navy intelligence analyst also sought a review of a previous judge's ruling, which rejected Pollard's efforts two years ago to have his life sentence reconsidered.

In a 19-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan rejected Pollard's motions, saying he raised many "claims that the court finds are without merit." Hogan concluded that Pollard "has no basis for relief."

Pollard has argued he received ineffective legal counsel from his previous attorneys. However, Hogan said that while "Pollard has couched his claims in alleged violations of constitutional rights, such as ineffective assistance of counsel, closer inquiry reveals these alleged violations to be merely procedural in nature."

The ruling is the latest in a series of legal setbacks over several years for Pollard as he seeks to fight his sentence.

Pollard was arrested in 1985 and convicted in 1987 of providing sensitive military secrets to the Israeli government. His former wife, Anne Pollard, received a five-year sentence for her role in the case.

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