Malka Leifer’s case goes on…and on and on and on

February 28, 2018 by J-Wire News Service
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The 54-yr-old former principal of Melbourne’s Adass Yisroel facing extradition from Israel to Australia where she is wanted on 74 charges of child sexual abuse appeared in court in Petah Tikvah where her case was delayed yet again.

Leifer’s handcuffs being removed

Her lawyer told media “There is going to be a long debate that I estimate will take place over a number of years until it will be finally decided.”

Malka Leifer

In Melbourne, survivor Dassi Erlich stated: “Dumfounded by the news, our hearts are heavy with despair. We are silenced once again in the face of yet another stalling tactic to delay justice. The Court adjourned to March 28th to give time for the evidence relating to the domestic charges to be released for the defence to review.

Despite this setback, the State appointed psychiatrist did find her mentally fit to stand trial for extradition. The report also suggests she did feign her illness to avoid extradition.  In light of this disappointment please give us some time to process this new development.”

He also ordered the prosecution to present all their evidence to the defence by March 28.

Child sexual abuse advocate Manny Waks stated: “It’s disappointing that there is another delay in justice for Leifer’s alleged victims. Our thoughts are with them. Hopefully the next hearing will be the final one in Israel, and Leifer will be extradited to Australia to finally face justice. This seems to be supported by the district psychiatrist, who has indicated that Leifer is indeed fit to stand trial. This is a very positive and encouraging development. In the meantime, we hope she will remain in Israeli custody.”

In the appearance, a State attorney told the court Leifer had been assessed by psychiatrists whose results showed her to be fit for trial. Undercover operations by police produced evidence resulting in the arrest of Leifer earlier this month accusing of her faking her mental condition. At that point she was detained.

The judge has ordered Leifer to be continued in detention in a psychiatric hospital. She will appear in court on March 7 in a bid to have the detention order lifted.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry stated they are deeply disappointed by the latest delay in the process to extradite Malka Leifer to face trial in Australia.

They commented: “This is yet another painful setback for survivors that will surely compound their pain and suffering.

The ECAJ passed a resolution at its 2017 Annual Conference 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. This remains our position and we hope that justice will finally be served when the matter is again listed for hearing on 28 March.

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