Middle East

Alleged victims welcome news child sex accused Malka Leifer could be extradited


Jerusalem's chief psychiatrist says former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer is fit to face an extradition hearing.

Alleged victims of former Melbourne principal Malka Leifer have welcomed news she could potentially be extradited to Australia to face child sex abuse charges.

Ms Leifer, the former head of the Adass Israel School in Melbourne, is wanted on 74 child sexual abuse charges in Australia, and on Tuesday Jerusalem's chief psychiatrist recommended she is fit to face an extradition hearing.

The Australian-Israeli has been in a women's prison in Israel since February, accused of abusing girls at the Adass Israel ultra-orthodox Jewish girls' school in Melbourne more than a decade ago.

Malka Leifer arrives for a hearing at the District Court in Jerusalem earlier this year.
Malka Leifer arrives for a hearing at the District Court in Jerusalem earlier this year.

Alleged victim Dassi Erlich has been riding a roller-coaster of emotions as she watches the legal proceedings from afar.

“Fighting for justice and having this in my life every single day is something that has obviously affected me and my family and everyone around me,” she told SBS News.

Following this week’s findings, an Israeli court has given Ms Leifer’s lawyers until November to present more evidence.

Leifer's legal team said it would contest the reports when the case returns to the court for a hearing on November 14.

Manny Waks.
Manny Waks.

Activist  Manny Waks has been following the proceedings against Ms Leifer, who Israeli police accuse of feigning mental illness. 

"This is extremely frustrating, very disappointing, it continues to make a mockery of the Israeli justice system,” he said.

Even if the 54-year-old accused loses this bid to avoid extradition back to Australia, it could be some time still before she faces her accusers with those pushing for her return expecting more legal battles ahead.

“We are getting closer. We are definitely getting closer,” Ms Erlich said. 

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