מלכה לייפר
Malka Leifer remotely attends an extradition hearing in Jerusalem
Photo: Shalev Shalom
Malka Leifer remotely attends an extradition hearing in Jerusalem

Judge: September decision on extraditing alleged child abuser

Malka Leifer facing 74 charges of abusing students at Melbourne Jewish girls' school where she was principal; suspected pedophile fled to Israel in 2008 and fighting return to face charges in Australia on grounds of mental incompetence

Ynet, i24NEWS |
Published: 07.20.20 , 15:01
Suspected pedophile Malka Leifer's extradition to Australia to face sexual abuse charges will be decided on September 21, 2020, a Jerusalem District Court judge ruled on Monday.
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  • Leifer is accused of 74 counts of abusing three sisters who were students during her tenure as principal of the ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel Girls' School in Melbourne.
    מלכה לייפרמלכה לייפר
    Malka Leifer remotely attends an extradition hearing in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Shalev Shalom)
    Monday's extradition hearing was largely procedural as the court ruled in May that Leifer was mentally competent to stand trial. Leifer attended the hearing remotely.
    At the hearing, Leifer's new defense attorney Nick Kaufman asked to submit a new legal opinion asserting that Israel does not have the authority to extradite his client and claimed that she would not receive a fair trial in Australia.
    Kaufman also argued that the complaints filed by Leifer's alleged victims in Australia should not be admissible because they were submitted to police and not a registrar, and she had not had chance to respond to them.
    האחיות דסי ארליך, אלי סאפר וניקול מאיירהאחיות דסי ארליך, אלי סאפר וניקול מאייר
    L-R: Australian sisters Dassi Erlich, Nicole Meyer and Elie Sapper say Malka Leifer sexually abused them when they were children
    (Photo: EPA)
    Leifer was in Israel by the time the charges were brought in Australia in 2008, having fled when claims of abuse began to surface.
    She was arrested in Israel in 2014 when Australia formally requested her extradition but has spent the past six years fighting her return to face charges on the grounds of mental incompetence.
    She was released in 2016 when she was found to be mentally unfit to stand trial and rearrested in 2018 when police began secretly filming her on suspicion that she had faked her mental incompetence, gathering more than 200 hours of footage showing Leifer functioning normally despite her lawyers' claims.
    מלכה לייפר פדופילית הסגרה נאשמת פדופיליה אוסטרליהמלכה לייפר פדופילית הסגרה נאשמת פדופיליה אוסטרליה
    Accused pedohile Malka Leifer in court in Jerusalem last year
    (Photo: AP)
    Kaufman hinted in a Supreme Court hearing on Sunday that he planned to argue that his client had not sexually abused her students as some of the alleged incidents had occurred when the sisters were nearly 18 years old.
    The lawyer also told reporters after Sunday's hearing that Australia and Israel would have to prove that the alleged victims did not consent to the sexual acts at the center of this case.

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