‘Who didn’t get the memo?’: Panel no-show forces another delay in Malka Leifer decision

Tel Aviv A new psychiatric panel decision on former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer’s mental fitness to stand an extradition trial to face charges of child abuse has been postponed to next year.

The psychiatric panel was apparently unaware of Tuesday’s hearing and did not turn up, forcing the delivery of a decision to be adjourned to January 14.

While numerous psychiatrists have assessed Ms Leifer over the course of 62 court hearings since 2014, the Jerusalem District Court ruled in September that a new expert panel would be formed.

The deadline for their findings was December 10, though now the panel have been given until January 10 to deliver their decision to the court.

Leifer faces extradition to Australia on 74 charges of sexually assaulting female students during her time at Melbourne’s ultra-orthodox Adass Israel school in Elsternwick.

She fled to Israel in 2008 after the allegations first emerged and the process to extradite her has stalled several times since charges were laid in 2013.

Dassi Erlich, one of Leifer’s alleged victims, was outraged by the developments in Israel.

“We feel sick with anxiety. (We spent) three months waiting for this day,” Erlich told media.

“Who didn’t get the memo? Was this intentional?”

The Leifer case has become high profile in Israel, with the majority of news outlets covering each hearing.

Read the article by Tessa Fox in The Sydney Morning Herald.