Malka Leifer, former Melbourne principal and accused child abuser, granted further delays in extradition process

The alleged victims of an Israeli teacher accused of sexually abusing girls at a Melbourne school said they were distressed and angry about further delays to her extradition case.

The Jerusalem District Court has granted lawyers for the former principal of the Adass Israel girls school, Malka Leifer, time to cross-examine members of a psychiatric panel that found the 54-year-old had been faking mental illness to avoid extradition.

The panel is meant to be the final assessment of Ms Leifer’s mental fitness after more than 30 previous examinations, many of which found her mentally competent to face trial.

Israel’s State Attorney’s Office had seized on its findings to press for a speedier resolution to the extradition hearing, so Ms Leifer could be sent to Australia to face 74 sexual abuse charges.

“The psychiatric panel’s findings lead to the inevitable conclusion that over the past five years, the court and the mental health system have fallen victim to a fraud perpetrated by Leifer and her supporters,” it said in a press release before the court hearing.

But rather than proceeding to the extradition hearing, legal argument about Ms Leifer’s mental competency will continue until at least mid-March.

“It is so, so upsetting to have a judge who does not just stand up and say, ‘I asked for a panel, I received an answer, this is what is going to happen next, thank you very much’,” alleged victim Nicole Meyer said.

“Instead we have to sit through another traumatising and draining court hearing.”

Read the article in The New Daily (from ABC).