Former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer has been re-arrested in Israel after allegedly faking mental illness to avoid extradition to Australia. The Israeli citizen is wanted in Victoria on 74 rape and child sexual abuse charges.

Leifer fled Australia to her native Israel in 2008 after multiple female students from the ultra-Orthodox Addass Israel school accused her of sexually abusing them. She was arrested in 2014 after Australia filed an extradition request for her. However, she avoided extradition after court-appointed psychiatrists in Israel claimed she was too mentally ill to attend hearing.

She had not been admitted to ongoing care and had only been told to surrender her passport and undergo psychiatric review every six months for 10 years. Each review she has since undergone advised that she was mentally incapable of appearing in court.

She was photographed last year attending the religious festival Lag B’Omer in the northern town of Meron. After launching a probe spurred by complaints from her alleged victims, police concluded that she faked mental illness and obstructed court proceedings.

Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that Leifer was arrested on Tuesday morning. Her extradition process has also begun anew.

“During 2017, there were indications that the suspect was pretending to be suffering from a mental illness in order to avoid the extradition process, and as a result, the police opened again an investigation that led to her arrest this morning,” a statement from the police said.

 

Read the full article at the International Business Times.

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