Convicted spy released from North Carolina prison

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has been released from a U.S. prison.

The release on Friday from a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, culminated an extraordinary espionage case that strained American-Israeli relations for nearly 30 years. Pollard was charged with handing over classified U.S. government information to Israel.

Neither the U.S. Justice Department nor attorneys for Pollard immediately responded to messages seeking confirmation of the 61-year-old's newfound freedom.

His release caps one of the most high-profile spy sagas in modern American history. Supporters said he was punished excessively for actions taken on behalf of an American ally while critics, including government officials, derided him as a traitor who sold out his country.