A federal judge ruled yesterday that it would be a "threat to our national security" to release Anne Henderson-Pollard, wife of accused spy Jonathan Jay Pollard, and turned down a request to grant her bail.
Henderson-Pollard, 25, is charged with unauthorized possession of classified documents and has been in jail since her arrest on Nov. 22, a day after her husband was arrested as the couple was leaving the Israeli Embassy.
Meanwhile, the State Department confirmed that a delegation of State and Justice department officials will depart for Israel today to interview Israeli officials implicated in the case of Pollard, a civilian Navy counterterrorism analyst charged with selling U.S. secrets to Israel.
The State Department announcement said the U.S. delegation, which is headed by State Department legal adviser Abraham Sofaer, will "meet with Israeli officials to determine the facts through discussions and other forms of cooperation."
Israeli sources have said that the government of Prime Minister Shimon Peres, sensitive to domestic political considerations, wants to make sure that U.S. officials are in Israel to gather information and not to conduct a formal investigation.
The Israeli government has promised "full cooperation," the State Department said.
U.S. officials said that the delgation plans to inquire about all aspects of the Pollard case, including Pollard's alleged relationship with diplomats assigned to the Science Liaison Bureau, known by the Hebrew acronym Lekem. Two diplomats said to be Pollard's alleged contacts in the United States worked for Lekem in Washington and New York.
The U.S. delegation will include Mark Richard, deputy assistant attorney general; John Martin, chief of the Justice Department unit that prosecutes spies; Joseph E. diGenova, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and an FBI official who was not identified.
Yesterday's ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John H. Pratt concurs with a decision last week by U.S. Magistrate Patrick J. Attridge denying bail to Henderson-Pollard.
In a four-page order, Pratt also said there is "a substantial risk" that Henderson-Pollard would flee if she were released. Pollard also is being held in pretrial detention without bond on the same grounds.
On Friday James F. Hibey, Henderson-Pollard's attorney, told Pratt that the government was relying on the "spillover effect" of the evidence against Pollard to justify holding his client.
However, Pratt noted government evidence that Henderson-Pollard was carrying birth certificates, her marriage license and $600 in cash when the couple unsuccessfuly sought asylum in the Israeli Embassy.
"There is "no doubt that . . . she was prepared to flee then ," the judge said. "Now that she has been arrested and is facing serious criminal charges, her motive and inclination to flee would seem to be at least as great."