Sydney Morning Herald
January 28, 2015
Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie
Members of Australia’s Orthodox Jewish community who assist police investigate alleged child sexual abuse have been pressured to stay silent, secret tape recordings and emails obtained by Fairfax Media reveal.
The details of the pressure being exerted on victims have emerged as the Royal Commission into child sex abuse prepares to hold public hearings next week to examine the responses of Melbourne and Sydney’s yeshivah centres to alleged offences dating back to the 1980s.
In one secret, legally recorded 2011 telephone conversation, prominent Melbourne criminal barrister Alex Lewenberg tells a victim of St Kilda Yeshivah centre sex offender David Cyprys he should not have co-operated with police.
“I am not exactly delighted that another Yid [Jew] would assist police against an accused no matter whatever he is accused of and that is the reason why I was very disappointed,” Mr Lewenberg, who was defending Cyprys at the time of the conversation, told the victim.
“Because there is a tradition, if not a religious requirement that you do not assist against Abraham and I was concerned about that … moserprinciple. Moseris well known.”
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