Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn signs an extradition order for accused child sex abuser Malka Leifer to Australia.
“After many years, after a shameful attempt to present herself as mentally ill, and in light of the Supreme Court ruling, it is our moral obligation to allow for Leifer to stand trial,” tweets the justice minister.
Israel now has 60 days to place Leifer on a plane to Australia.
An official in the State Prosecutor’s Office told The Times of Israel that while the defense is technically allowed to file an appeal once more following the justice minister’s decision, it is unclear whether the High Court of Justice would agree to hear the case given the latest rulings in favor of Leifer’s extradition.
Leifer is the former headmistress of Melbourne’s Adass Israel ultra-Orthodox girls’ high school, in Australia, where she is wanted on 74 charges of child sex abuse.
Leifer left Israel to take a job at Adass Israel in Melbourne in 2000. When allegations of sexual abuse against her began to surface eight years later, members of the school board purchased the mother of eight a plane ticket back to Israel, allowing her to escape before charges were filed.
It took until 2014 for her to be arrested as part of an Interpol operation, but hearings were postponed due to claims by Leifer’s defense team of sudden bouts of a debilitating condition. A Jerusalem court suspended proceedings in 2016, deeming her mentally unfit to stand trial. She was rearrested in 2018 after being filmed appearing to lead a fully functional life and after a drawn-out legal saga, Israel approved her extradition.
— with Jacob Magid