World

In rare remarks, former handler of convicted Israeli spy says Pollard bungled 1985 escape plan

FILE - In this April 3, 2006 file photo, Rafi Eitan, chairman of the Pensioners Party and former Israeli Mossad agent  talks with the press after a meeting in Jerusalem. Eitan, the former handler of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard said in an interview that an escape plan was in place for Pollard to flee to Israel but he bungled it when he insisted on seeking asylum at Israel's embassy in Washington. (AP Photo/Baz Ratner, File)

FILE - In this April 3, 2006 file photo, Rafi Eitan, chairman of the Pensioners Party and former Israeli Mossad agent talks with the press after a meeting in Jerusalem. Eitan, the former handler of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard said in an interview that an escape plan was in place for Pollard to flee to Israel but he bungled it when he insisted on seeking asylum at Israel's embassy in Washington. (AP Photo/Baz Ratner, File)  (The Associated Press)

The former handler of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard says an escape plan was in place for him to flee to Israel but he bungled it when he insisted on seeking asylum at Israel's embassy in Washington.

Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy when he gave Israel thousands of classified documents. He was arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison. Many details of the case that severely strained relations between the allies remain a mystery.

In an interview aired Monday on Israeli Channel 2 TV's investigative program "Uvda," former Mossad agent Rafi Eitan says he gave the order to deny Pollard entry into the embassy.

Eitan said the minute Pollard arrived at the embassy doors "he decided for himself that he is going to prison."