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Litzman avoids jail time, gets NIS 3,000 fine for trying to stop Leifer extradition

Former Minister Yaakov Litzman arrives for a court hearing as part of his plea bargain, at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on August 08, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Former Minister Yaakov Litzman arrives for a court hearing as part of his plea bargain, at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on August 08, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former health minister Yaakov Litzman is sentenced to eight months’ probation and a NIS 3,000 ($900) fine for using his position to try to thwart the extradition to Australia of Malka Leifer, a former principal of an Orthodox girls school in Melbourne accused of sexually assaulting minors.

A judge accepts the plea deal under which Litzman pleads guilty to fraud and breach of trust for pressuring a state psychiatrist to deem Leifer unfit for extradition.

The ultra-Orthodox politician, who has announced he is not running in the next elections, avoids the charge of obstruction of justice and he is not convicted of moral turpitude in the case.

Leifer was eventually extradited to Australia last year, nearly 13 years after she fled Melbourne as allegations against her were coming to light and after a six-year legal process, during which a court determined that she had feigned mental illness in order to avoid facing justice. She is now facing trial in Australia for sexually abusing girls at a Jewish school.

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