The Morrison Government has welcomed a decision by an Israeli court that has paved the way for former Melbourne school teacher Malka Leifer to finally face due process back in Australia.
The Jerusalem District Court yesterday found that Ms Leifer is eligible to be extradited to stand trial on 74 counts of child sexual abuse that relate to her time as both a religious studies teacher and principal at the Adass Israel School.
“Yesterday’s court decision is very welcome news and no doubt comes as an enormous relief for Malka Leifer’s alleged victims who have fought long and hard to see her face court on Australian soil,” Attorney-General Christian Porter said.
“The reality is that this case has dragged on for a very long time. Six years have passed since Malka Leifer was first arrested by Israeli authorities in response to Australia’s request for extradition.
“I personally travelled to Israel late last year and met with my counterparts to discuss this matter directly and was encouraged by Ministers for listening to our submissions and for understanding the importance of this issue in Australia. I thank Israel for its ongoing assistance and cooperation.”
Ms Leifer now has 30 days to decide whether to appeal yesterday’s decision to Israel’s Supreme Court.
Depending on the outcome of any appeal, the matter would then be referred to Israel’s Justice Minister who has the final sign-off on the extradition order. This step can also be subject to a limited review process.