ריבלין וראש ממשלת אוסטרליה סקוט מוריסון
Morrison and Rivlin in Australia in February
Photo: GPO
Morrison and Rivlin in Australia in February

Rivlin to Australian PM: Israel won't let Leifer 'evade justice'

The president calls Scott Morrison after a court ruling that the former Melbourne principle, accused of sexually abusing her students, was fit to stand trial and be extradited, after 60 court hearings

Associated Press |
Published: 05.27.20 , 12:47
President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday spoke with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, telling him Israel won't let a former teacher accused of sexually abusing her students in Australia "to evade justice."
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  • Remarks come a day after Israeli court ruled that Malka Leifer was faking a mental illness to avoid prosecution, was fit to stand trial and be extradited. It set a July 20 extradition hearing.
    ריבלין וראש ממשלת אוסטרליה סקוט מוריסוןריבלין וראש ממשלת אוסטרליה סקוט מוריסון
    Morrison and Rivlin in Australia in February
    (Photo: GPO)
    "Israel will not allow anyone to use its institutions to evade justice," Rivlin said, adding that Tuesday's court ruling proved that.
    Rivlin noted that the matter was central to his state visit to Australia in February and that he had promised Morrison and Australia's pro-Israel Jewish community he would monitor the case closely.
    ידיעותידיעות
    3 of dozens of Leifer's accusers
    Leifer's accusers say she abused them while they were students at an ultra-Orthodox school in Melbourne. In 2008, as allegations surfaced, the Israeli-born Leifer - a trusted educator in an insular religious community - left her position at the school suddenly and returned to Israel, where she has lived since.
    Australia requested Leifer's extradition in 2014 on 74 charges of child sex abuse and more than 60 Israeli court hearings have followed. The prolonged proceedings have raised concerns that Israeli authorities of dragging out the case for far too long.
    מלכה לייפרמלכה לייפר
    Malka Leifer in court
    (Photo: Amit Shaabi )
    Critics say the legal proceedings have been marred by needless delays by Leifer's legal team. Israeli police also have recommended charges of fraud and breach of trust be brought against former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman for suspicions he pressured ministry employees to skew Leifer's psychiatric evaluations in her favor.
    Litzman, a powerful ultra-Orthodox politician, denies wrongdoing.

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