Woman wanted in Australia for sex crimes ordered to remain in custody
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Woman wanted in Australia for sex crimes ordered to remain in custody

Police say suspect may have faked illness to avoid being extradited to face charges of sexually abusing girls at Melbourne Jewish school

Illustrative. Handcuffs in a courthouse. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)
Illustrative. Handcuffs in a courthouse. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

An Australian woman accused of sex crimes against children in her home country appeared on Tuesday before an Israeli judge, who ordered her to remain in custody a day after her arrest.

Australia wants the 54-year-old suspect, whose name was placed under an Israeli gag order, extradited. She is wanted there for sexually abusing children while she was a teacher at a local school.

Israel launched an undercover investigation at the request of Interpol, and police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of obstructing court proceedings by attempting to hide evidence.

An Israeli court had previously stopped extradition proceedings against the suspect, after determining she was not fit to stand trial. But police say they have indications she was pretending to be suffering from a mental illness to avoid extradition and that a new extradition order would be handed down.

“Based on new evidence that is being found, both by the Israeli police, as well as social services, we believe that she can stand trial and all of the documents that she had in fact presented over the last few years were fake documents, and the psychological analysis that were given were incorrect and inaccurate, ” Rosenfeld said.

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