Israel extradites woman wanted for child sex crimes to Australia

25 Janvier, 2021, 22:22 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Malka Leifer extradited to Australia to face charges of sexual abuse

Dave Sharma, a former Australian ambassador to Israel who is now a Liberal MP, tweeted the pictures of Leifer as she prepared to leave the country.

A former Melbourne principal has been extradited from Israel to Australia, where she will face 74 charges of child sexual abuse.

"We confirm the deportation", Israel's justice ministry said, without giving further details.

Malka Leifer had fought her return to Australia, including with a submission of mental illness, and the case has been in Israeli courts since 2014.

The Jerusalem Post said she was "travelling to Australia via Frankfurt, and will arrive in Australia later today".

Leifer, who was principal of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne, has denied the allegations against her.

She was escorted out of Israel this morning and is now onboard a flight to Australia via Germany, according to local media reports.

As accusations against her began surfacing in 2008, Israeli-born Leifer left the school and returned to Israel, where she has lived since.

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The country's Supreme Court rejected her final appeal against the extradition in December.

Last year, a Jerusalem district court judge found that Ms Leifer had been "impersonating someone with mental illness" to avoid extradition and that she should be sent to Australia to stand trial.

Nick Kaufman, Ms Leifer's lawyer in Israel, confirmed to the ABC his client was on a plane to Australia.

Israeli daily Haaretz today quoted the Zionist Federation of Australia's Jeremy Leibler as criticising the delay.

He said "justice was a step closer" for her alleged victims. "Given the current delays in the legal system due to Covid-19, it is unclear how long the process will take".

Undercover private investigators later filmed her shopping and depositing a cheque at a bank, leading Israeli authorities to re-arrest her in 2018.

But she was released in 2016 after doctors ruled she was suffering panic attacks and was unfit to stand trial.

The legal wrangling caused some tensions between allies Israel and Australia, with Leifer's extradition being a central issue raised with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during a visit to Australia last February.

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