Malka Leifer: Is this the turning point?

February 15, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israel’s National Fraud Investigation Unit has interrogated the country’s Deputy Health Minister who is suspected of obstructing legal proceedings in the extradition of Malka Leifer wanted by Victorian police to face 74 charges of child sexual abuse.

Malka Leifer in court June 14 Photo: Hillel Maeir/TPS

The questioning of MK Yaakov Litzman by Israeli police marks the work of a seven-month investigation. Litzman is suspected of attempting to quash the extradition by obstructing legal proceedings by seeking falsified psychiatric evaluations of Malka Leifer preventing her from facing the court in Israel.

Media reports state that police have recordings of Litzman in his office pressing officials to “press them to act on Leifer’s behalf”.

Yaakov Litzman heads the United Torah Judaism party.

Dassi Erlich, one of Leifer’s alleged victims, has been spearheading the campaign to extradite Leifer to Melbourne, posted on Facebook: “Hoping that this is the turning point that will finally lead us to the justice we have been waiting for.

Someone just asked me if I’m afraid to testify against Leifer now that we know she has support from important people in very high places.
No! We knew that already- we have the truth.”

Child sexual abuse advocate Manny Waks added: “We have long suspected high-level interference in the Malka Leifer case, and these serious allegations against Israel’s Deputy Health Minister, Rabbi Yakov Litzman, confirms the ongoing suspicion many have regarding this case.

While we must await the investigation’s conclusion, Litzman’s appalling track record speaks for itself. He defended his recent visit to convicted sex offender, Rabbi Eliezer Berland,  while he informed Leifer’s alleged victims in a chance encounter at the Knesset that he does not support them or Leifer’s extradition. Litzman has shown his true colours in the past, and hopefully, he will now be brought to full account.

We hope and expect that justice will prevail.”
Malka Leifer lived in Australia from 2000 to 2008. She was the principal of the Adass Israel girls’ school in Melbourne. She fled Australia just ahead of being charged by the Victorian police.
She is currently in prison but a bail hearing is due on Tuesday.
The extradition case has been before the courts 43 times. The case will be in court against next month. She was arrested in Israel in 2014.
The executive director of AIJAC Dr Colin Rubenstein said: AIJAC is deeply troubled by reports of alleged wrongdoing by Israel’s Deputy Health Minister regarding the extradition case of accused sex offender Malka Leifer, indicted for numerous offences in Victoria.

We renew our call for extradition of Leifer, without delay, in the interests of justice for her alleged victims, and also call for a through investigation by Israeli authorities into any alleged malfeasance that may be delaying her return to face trial.

President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, Jeremy Leibler said “The Australian Jewish community stands firmly with Dassi Erlich and her sisters in their Bring Leifer Backcampaign.

Leifer’s extradition has been a frustratingly drawn out process which has inflicted further pain and suffering on her victims. Their suffering has undoubtedly been compounded by this most recent allegation. We reiterate our call for Leifer to be extradited as soon as possible to face justice in Australian courts and expect the Israeli Government to investigate the allegations of corruption against Yaakov Litzman.

“If these allegations are proven, Litzman has brought dishonour to the State of Israel and should step down as Deputy Minister and publicly apologise to the survivors of Leifer’ssexual abuse,” Mr Leibler concluded.

The ZFA notes that this is not the first time Litzman has flouted his responsibility as Deputy Health Minister in relation to sexual assault victims. Litzman was previously criticised for visiting Rabbi Eliezer Berland who was convicted of two counts of indecent acts and one count of assault in 2017. At the time, Berland was serving out his sentence under house arrest.

Comments

3 Responses to “Malka Leifer: Is this the turning point?”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    It’s extremely disappointing to hear that someone in a position of this authority would seek to pervert the legal process and prevent justice. Litzman should be sacked if found to be culpable; he’s a disgrace to the position he holds.The whole Malka Leifer scenario has been allowed to go on for far too long and brings the Israeli justice system into disrepute, something that is highly regrettable. At least the police, it seems, are doing their job.

  2. Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

    Litzman should be severly punished if the reports prove to becourt true.His alleged behaviour is reprehensible.
    The Jerusalem court should act with alscrity and clear the way for Leifer to be extradited without delay,the process has been dragged out far too long.

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