Israeli court won’t extradite Australian sex abuse suspect, citing her mental illness


(JTA) — An Israeli court ruled that the former principal of a Jewish girls’ school in Melbourne who fled Australia for Israel amid allegations that she sexually abused students can’t be extradited because she is mentally ill.

Malka Leifer, who is wanted on 74 charges of child sexual abuse in Melbourne, was arrested earlier this month following a police undercover operation to investigate her claim that she is mentally unfit to appear in court.

The Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday ruled that Leifer should be dealt with “in the realm of mental illness.”

Her attorney, Yehuda Fried, said the ruling likely means a process of many years before her extradition can be reconsidered.

Leifer, the former principal of the Adass Yisroel girls’ school, has avoided court proceedings to seek her extradition to Australia by claiming mental incapacity. The police operation was undertaken at the request of Interpol.

Leifer, who is in her 50s, reportedly has been living in the northern West Bank town of Emmanuel, where she was arrested. She fled Australia in 2008, allegedly with the help of school officials, shortly before she was charged.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)