Israeli court told alleged sex offender Malka Leifer is fit to stand trial in Australia

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

February 27, 2018

By Sophie McNeill

Key points:
– Ms Leifer is accused of faking mental illness
– New psychiatric assessment found Ms Leifer fit to stand trial
– Israel court has further delayed extradition

An Israeli state attorney says a new psychiatric assessment of a former Melbourne school principal wanted on 74 charges of child sexual abuse has found she is fit to stand trial.

But a Jerusalem judge has further delayed Malka Leifer’s extradition hearing, saying her defence team needed more time to review the evidence and that a new medical report had to be signed off by the city’s chief medical psychiatrist.

On February 12, Israeli police arrested 54-year-old Ms Leifer, accusing her of faking mental illness for the past three years in order to avoid extradition to Australia following an undercover police investigation.

Ms Leifer had been the principal of the Adass Israel girls’ school in Melbourne before she fled to Israel after allegations of abuse were first raised against her in 2008.

At the last court hearing on February 14, a judge ordered her to undergo a new in-depth psychiatric assessment.

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