Malka Leifer arrested

February 13, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Malka Leifer, wanted to face 74 charges of child sexual abuse in Melbourne, has been arrested in Israel following a police undercover operation.

Malka Leifer

The former principal of the Adass Yisroel school in Melbourne fled from Australia in 2008 shortly before the charges were laid.

She has avoided court proceedings to seek her extradition to Australia by claiming she was mentally unfit to appear in court.

Media reports she had been living in the West Bank town of Emmanuel. She will appear in a Petah Tikvah court where her detention is to be extended.

Survivor Dassi Erlich said: “It is with a mixture of elation and relief coupled with anticipation towards the future, that we welcome the news of Malka Leifer’s arrest. We see this as a very important breakthrough in our long journey to achieve justice.

It is shocking that claims of fraud and the feigning of mental illness have been used to evade justice for such a long time, but we are relieved that Malka Leifer’s arrest removes her from posing a potential threat to other vulnerable children.

We have been heartened and grateful by the shared empathy by people across the full spectrum of society and for the practical support on many levels. It has been a very long ten years since Malka Leifer fled Australia. We are hopeful that this is a turning point in the extradition process.”

Dassi Erlich has been campaigning for Leifer’s extradition and met with Australian Prime Minister before his visit to Israel requesting him to discuss the case with  Benjamin Netanyahu. She visited Israel herself meeting with members of the Knesset and media.

Manny Waks Chief Executive Officer of Kol v’Oz added: “I’m delighted to hear of Malka Leifer’s arrest and hope that it is the re-commencement of a process that leads to her extradition to Australia to face her accusers. Her arrest is a credit to the many people who have worked tirelessly to ensure that she will be held to account and can no longer be a potential threat to children in Israel. I’m especially happy for her courageous alleged victims. I’m pleased that Leifer is no longer free and a potential threat to children in Israel. We are much closer today than at any other time before to her extradition. Hopefully this will happen very soon.”

Waks was the founder of Melbourne-based Tzedek a child sexual abuse advocacy group.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry welcomed the news that Malka Leifer has been arrested by Israeli police and the extradition process has been commenced. The arrest follows an investigation conducted by the Israeli government in coordination with Australian authorities.

ECAJ President, Anton Block, said “We commend the actions of the Israeli authorities.  We hope that this development will bring some satisfaction to sexual abuse survivors in Australia and that justice and closure will now be swiftly forthcoming.”

The ECAJ passed a resolution at its Annual Conference in November which expressed “solidarity with all who may have suffered by reason of the conduct of Malka Leifer” and praising “the courageous activism of Dassi Erlich and others on behalf of all survivors of child sexual abuse.”

“We called for the extradition of Malka Leifer without delay and are pleased that despite further setbacks in the intervening period, it now appears that Leifer will finally face trial in Melbourne”, Mr Block said.

“We will continue to offer whatever assistance we can provide to survivors of child sexual abuse. We wish them continued strength and determination”.

AIJAC executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein said: “This is a matter which AIJAC has pursued with Israeli authorities for some time, with National Chairman Mark Leibler twice meeting with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to discuss this case. AIJAC has called on Israeli authorities to do their utmost, consistent with the rule of law, to fully investigate Ms Leifer’s claim of being too ill to stand trial and appreciates that they have done so. Mark Leibler will again be seeking to discuss what can be done expedite Ms. Leifer’s extradition with Israeli authorities during his visit to Israel next week.

AIJAC is hopeful that these latest developments will lead to Ms. Leifer’s speedy extradition back to Australia to face a long-overdue trial –  at last bringing some measure of closure and justice to her alleged victims.”

Comments

One Response to “Malka Leifer arrested”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Finally some action with good undercover work by Israel police proving she is a liar as well.

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