Australian PM Morrison Calls for Israel to Extradite Accused Pedophile Malka Leifer

Scott Morrison met with two sisters who claim the former school principal had raped and sexually abused them while she ran an all-girls ultra-Orthodox school in Melbourne

Malka Leifer, a former Australian school principal who is wanted in Australia on suspicion of sexually abusing students, at the Jerusalem District Court, February 14, 2018.
\ Ronen Zvulun/ REUTERS

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on Wednesday for the quick extradition of former school prinicpal Malka Leifer, who faces 74 charges of indecent assault and rape against her students, to his country.

Morrison said in a press statement that he had met with two of the main complainants against Leifer, sisters Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer, who are seeking her extradition. "We acknowledge the immense bravery of the victims in this case," the Australian premier stated, adding: "We stand with them." 

"We call for the matter to be resolved transparently and quickly. We also reaffirm our commitment to have Malka Leifer extradited," he continued. 

Morrison noted that he previously raised the issue with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that he intends to raise it with "the incoming Israeli leadership."

Dassi Erlich took to Twitter after her meeting with Morrison, writing that their talk was "extremely productive and encouraging." 

"PM Scott Morisson has promised us he will make a public statement in support of the #bringbleiferback campaign. The PM also assured us that Lefier's victims have not and will not be forgotten," she added. 

Leifer, an Israeli citizen who headed an all-girls ultra-Orthodox school in Melbourne, is accused of the rape and sexual assault of Erlich, Meyer and Elly Sapper. She fled to Israel due to the accusations against her, and remains in custody. Her attorneys claim that she is mentally unfit to stand trial, but psychiatrists ruled last year that she is not. A panel of experts was appointed by the Jerusalem court in early October to determine whether she is mentally ill or feigning illness.

Earlier this month the Jerusalem District Court ruled that Leifer be released to house arrest, because it could not be proven that she is fit to stand trial, but the High Court of Justice overruled that decision and determined that she needs to stay behind bars.