Malka Leifer must face 74 child-sex charges in Australia
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Australian Malka Leifer is wanted to face trial in Australia on a charge of 74 charges of indecent assault and rape allegedly involving girls at the Adass Israel School in Melbourne. She fled Australia for Israel in 2008.
We express our profound shock and disturbance about the ruling on 2 June that although Malka Leifer is too unwell mentally to face extradition proceedings her house arrest in Israel is to be lifted. (She has been under house arrest since August 2014 and managed to evade 10 extradition proceedings, claiming that she faces panic attacks whenever court dates are set.)
If Leifer is indeed too unwell to attend court, she should be admitted to a state psychiatric hospital so that a team of diverse professionals who work for the state can care for her and monitor her. As soon as such a team decides that she can, she should face the extradition hearing in court.
Consequences of the ruling
Judge Cohen has ruled that Leifer is required to attend treatment sessions only 5 times in the next 6 months before being re-assessed.This process could go on indefinitely.
Meanwhile dozens of Leifer's alleged young victims and their families continue to suffer trauma day in, day out, year in, year out. They want Leifer to face her charges. We want to see Leifer face her charges. It is now the 9th year since she fled Australia.
We are concerned that Israel's reputation is also suffering from being perceived as a haven for alleged paedophiles wishing to avoid justice.
Australian officials' undertaking of full medical treatment for Leifer
Australian officials have made it clear that Leifer will be given full and appropriate medical treatment during her return journey to Australia and while in Australia.
Justice for Leifer's alleged victims & reassurance for Israeli parents & children
We are gravely concerned to ensure that her many alleged victims have justice and that Israel's parents and their children be reassured that Israel's justice system deals swiftly and appropriately with people who face multiple charges alleging such abhorrent crimes.
One of Leifer's alleged victims bravely broke her silence to express her outrage. "How can it be that she is not fit enough to stand trial but she only has to go to the psychologist once a month?" How indeed?
If Leifer is not well enough to attend court, she should be under care in a state hospital until she can face extradition proceedings.
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