Israeli authorities: Expedite extradition
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Israeli authorities: Expedite extradition

The prosecution has requested that the court schedule a hearing, as well as set a date for a final decision regarding the extradition petition, as soon as possible.

It has been several years since the extradition request was made by the Australian Government.
It has been several years since the extradition request was made by the Australian Government.

ISRAELI authorities claim Malka Leifer has defrauded Israel’s mental health system and have asked the Jerusalem Court for “extradition proceedings against Malka Leifer [to] be expedited”.

Yuval Kaplinsky from the Ministry of Justice said that Leifer is wanted in Australia to stand trial for sexual offences committed against three girls while Leifer was their high school teacher and principal at the Adass Israel School in Melbourne.

Kaplinsky noted that the actual petition for extradition, which was submitted on August 17 2014, was never argued before the court because Leifer was deemed unfit to face proceedings.

He also confirmed reports published last week about the latest assessment of three psychiatrists.

“On January 9 2020 the psychiatric panel submitted their expert opinion to the court in which they unanimously and unequivocally determined that Leifer was mentally fit to stand trial and that she had been faking her mental incompetency all along,” Kaplinsky wrote.

He said the prosecution believes that the psychiatric panel’s conclusion should bring this case to a timely and swift conclusion.

“The psychiatric panel’s findings lead to the inevitable conclusion that over the past five years, the court and the mental health system have fallen victim to a fraud perpetrated by Leifer and her supporters.

“The prosecution therefore requests that the court adopt the psychiatric panel’s findings and schedule a hearing, as well as set a date for a final decision regarding the extradition petition, as soon as possible.”

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) said “we may at last be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in the process of seeking justice for Leifer’s [alleged] victims”.

“While we are mindful that the court has not yet made its ruling, and further delays remain possible, any step that brings Leifer closer to facing a court in Melbourne to answer for her alleged crimes is most welcome,” AIJAC executive director Colin Rubenstein said.

“Both the survivors and the Australian community at large have already waited far too long to see Leifer extradited and brought to justice.”

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