Israeli Court Stalls Case Of Malka Leifer

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JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court Tuesday delayed extradition proceedings for a woman facing dozens of sexual abuse charges in Australia, dashing hopes the protracted legal saga would proceed after psychiatrists found her fit to stand trial.

The Jerusalem District Court granted the request of Malka Leifer’s attorney to question a psychiatric panel’s ruling last week that she had lied about mental illness.

On Monday, the Justice Ministry said in a statement that the psychiatrists’ conclusions “removed the obstacles that stood in the way of any significant progress in this case.”

Hearings in the case are expected to take place in February or March, further delaying a possible decision on extraditing Leifer to Australia for trial.

“It’s very disappointing to see that the defense’s strategy of delaying justice is proceeding as they planned and stated in the past,” Manny Waks of Kol V’Oz, an advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse, said in a statement.

Leifer, a former teacher and principal at an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne, Australia, faces 74 counts of sexual assault related to accusations brought forward by three sisters who say they were abused.

As the allegations against her surfaced in 2008, Leifer, an Israeli citizen, left the school and returned to Israel.

Australia filed an extradition request and Israeli authorities placed Leifer under house arrest in 2014. But extradition proceedings were frozen in 2016 when a mental health evaluation determined she wasn’t fit to stand trial.

In early 2018, police found evidence that Leifer had faked her mental incompetence, and arrested her once again. The court asked for another psychological review, whose findings were announced last week.

Leifer’s attorney, Yehuda Fried, said after Tuesday’s hearing that he expects the court to give her lawyers “the possibility to investigate” the psychiatric panel. The lengthy legal battle over Leifer’s extradition has strained ties between Israel and Australia and outraged Australia’s Jewish community.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Fact: The majority of Australian Jewish community would rather her NOT be extradited. The Chilul Hashem that a trial will generate is at least as important as the unfortunate victims’ demand for justice.

    I am in no way condoning the actions of this despicable woman. We have come a long way from shying away or hiding child abuse cases. Sheltering perpetrators is now very uncommon.

    Prosecuting old cases is something that has to be judged on an individual basis.

    This case is different.

    Avoiding a Chilul Hashem sometimes accompanies true pain. But that’s the price we, as Frum people, are expected to pay.

    While the Manny Wakses of Kol V’Oz undoubtedly have a point, the majority disagree with them.

  2. To:D. Sanjev- Are you out of your skull or what? This sexual pervert, and child abuser must be extradited now. Frum people are not expected to pay any price, nor are they supposed to put up with heinous crimes, such as sexual abuse. The days of sweeping such perverted acts under the rug, are long gone. Her tuchas must be removed from EY sometime this year, and sent to Australia, to be prosecuted. What chutzpah you have in implying that such victims should suffer in silence!

    • And if she’s jailed in Israel, then no one has to “put up with heinous crimes” either, and no one has to “suffer in silence.” Sounds like you’re not seeking justice, but vindictiveness.

      • The crimes took place in Australia, and that is where the victims reside. Don’t let her frum appearance fool anyone. She did the crimes, so let her do the time. It really irks me how these holier than thou hypocrites jump on the bandwagon, every single time an allegedly frum person perpetrates heinous crimes; they are all calling for a light sentence, or no sentence at all. However, if it was a gentile who perpetrated similar crimes against our people, these same phonies, would be calling for their heads! Chutzpadik!!

        • So? Show us where it’s written that the person must be jailed where his or her victims reside.

          The rest of your comment is just so much twaddle, because the argument isn’t that she should be released, but that she shouldn’t be extradited.

    • WHO WOULD GAIN IF SHE SITS IN JAIL . JAIL IS FOR SOMEONE WHO MIGHT DO IT AGAIN. PUNISHMENT WILL BE FROM GOD.YOU DON’T KNOW AND CAN NOT KNOW WHAT PUNISHMENT IS JUST RIGHT. MAY BE YOU WILL PUNISH HER TO MUCH. WHO COULD TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY

  3. I agree with PaulinSaudi, and I repeat that I resent these phony hypocrites coming to the defense of an allegedly frum woman. Those phonies seem to think that because she dresses the way that she does, that she is frum. A truly frum person, would not sexually abuse minor children. According to the warped reasoning of the legal experts on this board, Adolph Eichmann should have been allowed to have served his sentence in Argentina, and should never have been brought to Israel for trial.

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