Extradition order signed for accused child sex abuser Malka Leifer
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Extradition order signed for accused child sex abuser Malka Leifer

Israel's justice minister agrees long-awaited move to return former headmistress of Jewish school to Australia to face trial

Malka Leifer entering a courtroom (October 2019)
Malka Leifer entering a courtroom (October 2019)

Israel’s Justice Minister has finally signed the extradition order for the former headmistress of a Jewish girls’ school in Melbourne to be returned to face trial there for child sexual assault.

“I have now signed Malka Leifer’s extradition order to Australia,” tweeted Avi Nissenkorn on Wednesday evening, after a staggering 74 court hearings, during which her lawyers sought to challenge and delay her return at every step.

“After many years, after a vile attempt to impersonate [mental ill health], and after the Supreme Court ruling, it is our moral duty to allow Leifer to be prosecuted.”

Leifer’s alleged victims – pupils at the Orthodox school that she ran – reported her alleged child sex abuse in 2008, but just hours before she was due to be arrested by Australian police, Leifer fled to Israel.

Ever since, she has feigned psychiatric problems to avoid extradition in a case that shamed former health minister Ya’akov Litzman, who comes from the same Orthodox sect as Leifer, and who was accused of intervening on her behalf before resigning.

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