Pollard pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and was give a life sentence. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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Jonathan Pollard was released from prison Friday after 30 years behind bars for spying for Israel, his case a persistent thorn in relations between the two allies.The pre-dawn release from a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, gave Pollard his freedom, but the legal and diplomatic wrangling that has defined the case continued.Within hours of his release, Pollard's attorneys filed court papers in Manhattan – where Pollard and his wife, Esther, were seen checking in at a probation office – challenging "onerous and oppressive" parole conditions and terms.Pollard was given a life sentence in 1987 for providing large amounts of classified U.S. government information to Israel.Seymour Reich, a former president of B'nai Brith International who visited Pollard twice in prison, said that while he believed Pollard broke the law and deserved to be punished, his sentence was overly harsh. Like other supporters, he believes Pollard was "double-crossed" into thinking he'd be afforded leniency in exchange for a guilty plea.U.S. officials have said the decision to let Pollard out on parole had nothing to do with that deal and was not meant as a concession for Israel.
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