Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn announced on Wednesday that he had signed a appeasement order for Malka Leifer, the final step in a six-year legal battle to reinstate the child sex suspect. to Australia.
“After many years, after an embarrassing attempt to present itself as mentally ill, and as a result of the Supreme Court ruling, we have a moral obligation to allow Leifer to stand up,” Nissenkorn tweeted after sign the order.
Israel now has 60 days to send Leifer, 54, on a plane to Australia.
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Leifer’s lawyer, Nick Kaufman, called The Times of Israel’s decision Nissenkorn was “quick,” but said they would not appeal to him.
“Should Mrs Leifer will not be freely available in Australia, we will, in due course, seek to serve any prison term imposed on her in Israel, ”he said.
An official in the State Prosecutor’s Office told The Times of Israel earlier this year that while the defense was technically allowed to request a legal review of the justice minister’s decision, it was unclear whether they would agree. The Supreme Court of Justice heard the case, with the latest ruling backing Leifer’s extension.
Leifer is vice-president of Melbourne’s ultra-orthodox high school at Adass Israel, Australia, where she is charged with 74 counts of child sexual abuse.
The signing of the appeasement order came just one day after the Supreme Court rejected its ruling rejecting the defense application against the Jerusalem District Court’s decision to extend it.
“Everyone who tries to evade justice will know that they will not find a place of refuge in Israel,” Justices Anat Baron, Isaac Amit, and Ofer Grosskopf wrote in a unanimous decision.
Since Australia issued its application in 2013, “it appears that nothing has been done that the appellant did not accept and that there was no claim that she lost, in an attempt to prevent her take out, “the judges noted, arguing with the slow – out nature of the process.
The court rejected the claim made by the defendants in her appeal that Leifer was still living in Israel at the time of the prosecution crimes and therefore should have been allowed to serve her sentence in the Jewish state. The judges ruled that Leifer had moved to Australia to work at Adass Israel, and that she had remained there for seven years, with no intention of leaving before the claims came to light. The judges said that if Leifer was to be sent to court in Australia, she would welcome an application by Victorian authorities to serve her sentence in Israel. In the meantime, however, the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to accept such an application.
The drawing saga has tested Jerusalem’s relationship with Canberra. Fears surfaced in Australia – which recorded its interest in Leifer’s swift return at the highest levels of the Israeli government – last year when claims surfaced that Israel’s deputy deputy health minister, Yaakov Litzman, emphasizes state-mindedness to convince Leifer, who fled to Israel in 2008, as mentally unfit to face justice. The allegations came as a result of the physician assigned to the case being assessed a three-fold change in Leifer’s state of mind. Police suggested Litzman be fired for his alleged conduct.
Leifer left Israel to work at Adass Israel in Melbourne in 2000. When allegations of sexual abuse against her began eight years later, members of the school board bought a plane ticket for the mother of eight back to Israel, allowing her to flee before taxes were imposed.
It took until 2014 that she was arrested as part of an interpol operation, but hearings were adjourned, following claims from Leifer’s defense team of sudden blows of a debilitating state. A court in Jerusalem suspended the case in 2016, deeming it mentally unfit for trial. It was rebuilt in 2018 after being filmed apparently leading a fully functional life.
After more than a year’s worth of additional hearings, Jerusalem District Court Judge Chana Lomp ruled that the evidence regarding Leifer’s health remained inconclusive and ordered a board of psychologists to determine whether the principal pre-existing neglect of mental incompetence.
Last February, the panel ruled that Leifer had been relieved, forcing Lomp to make the same decision in May last year. That ruling was followed by the judge’s decision in September to clarify the extension Australia sought.