Setting the record straight on the Malka Leifer case

February 9, 2018 by J-Wire
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Former principal of The Adass Yisroel school in Melbourne Malka Leifer has successfully facing an extradition hearing which would decide if she is to be returned to Australia to facing 74 charges involving child sexual abuse.

Malka Leifer

Manny Waks, founder of Tzedek child sexual abuse advocacy group has published a list of pointers which clarify the current position. Leifer has continually used psychiatric causes for facing the hearing.

  • According to Israeli Law, for a legal matter to proceed, a defendant must be present in court.
  • There is a legal debate in Israel whether this law is only applicable in local Israeli matters or also in international cases.
  • This is the first time the Israeli legal system has been faced with this scenario – it has never had to deal with an extradition case being stopped due to the apparent mental health of a defendant.
  • Currently, one judge in the case has ruled that the Leifer extradition case may proceed even though Leifer is apparently unable to be present in court, while another judge has ruled that Leifer must be fit to attend court. At this stage, the third judge believes it is unnecessary to give their ruling on the matter and that it should be resolved through government legislation.
  • It is important to emphasise that, as per the court ruling, Leifer has monthly psychiatric assessments by a psychiatrist from the Israeli public service (the ruling is for 10 years). There have been two such psychiatrists involved in this monthly process.
  • As per the court ruling, every six months, a three-member government-appointed psychiatric committee (a member from the legal fraternity and a psychiatrist from both the private and public sectors) reviews the information from Leifer’s monthly assessments, sees Leifer briefly and makes a determination as to her current mental state. This committee is the sole decision-maker (not the Judge or the Court).
  • At this stage, the Israeli judicial system is precluded from getting directly involved.
  • There are two options that would force Leifer to face the much-sought extradition hearing. First, if her psychiatric assessors state that Leifer’s mental health has improved to a satisfactory level. Second, if there is sufficient evidence that she has been misleading the court and/or her psychiatrists regarding her mental state.
  • Nothing can be done at this stage to prevent Leifer from teaching in Israel or being in contact with children, as the matter is no longer before the court.
  • Significant work is continuing by many stakeholders, publicly and privately, to ensure justice is achieved and that Leifer is not a risk to children around her.


2 Responses to “Setting the record straight on the Malka Leifer case”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Psychiatry as a medical discipline dealing with schizophrenia, bipolar disease, dementia, etc, it is OK. As a form of gauging human behavior, it is in the same class as phrenology or the laying of hands.

    If Liefer can exist outside an institution she can return to Australia to face the courts. If she is not restricted in her contacts with children she is not suffering from anything other than a well founded fear of punishment for her alleged pedophilia.

    It is well past time that Liefer stopped abusing the Israeli medical and legal systems in Israel on top of her alleged abuse of girls in Australia.

  2. Erica Edelman says:

    This case makes me feel disgusted.
    Should she be totally incapable of showing up in court
    Any number of drugs could see her through a hearing. I presume
    She can still speak. This case NEEDS to be heard, dealt with
    And finalized with a verdict … for everybody concerned.
    In the meantime this woman needs an ankle monitoring
    Bracelet IF she is leaving her house – EVER!
    If she is confined to her home 24/7 because of her “issues”
    She is effectively captive and prisoner. If she is capable
    Of leaving her house she’s capable of court.
    This case is a farce. It makes a mockery of Israeli and Australian
    Extradition laws. This woman needs to be arrested and brought
    Back to Australia – immediately !

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