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Orthodox school abuse suspect deemed fit for extradition hearing

Australia has sought the extradition of Malka Leifer from Israel since 2014

    Leifer at a hearing at Jerusalem's district court in February
    Leifer at a hearing at Jerusalem's district court in February (Photo: Getty)

    Jerusalem’s chief psychiatrist has recommended to an Israeli court that a woman facing 74 charges of child sexual abuse is fit to face an extradition hearing.

    Malka Leifer, the former principal of the Orthodox Adass Yisroel girls school in Melbourne, has been accused of abusing a number of the pupils who were in her charge.

    One of those former pupils, Dassi Erlich, tweeted: “Huge relief! Today, new psych report assessment of Malka Leifer reports she is fit to stand for extradition trial! How many more assessments do we need?

    “How much longer do we need to keep assessing to come to the same conclusion?” 

    Australia has been seeking Ms Leifer’s extradition since 2014; she was initially arrested in Israel, but her defence team had claimed that she was mentally unfit to stand trial.

    But hundreds of hours of footage of the accused showed her shopping and socialising in the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel, where she had been living. She was rearrested in February.

    Ms Leifer’s legal defence told the court it would contest the recommendations.

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