Australian Headmistress Accused of Sex Abuse to Request Israel to Dismiss Extradition Process

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Melbourne's skyline. Credit: Donaldytong

A former headmistress who fled to Israel from Australia ahead of allegations of child sexual abuse is planning to request Israel's attorney general to dismiss extradition proceedings against her, the Australian Herald Sun reported Sunday. 

Malka Leifer, the former principal of Melbourne’s Adass Israel School, was allegedly involved in the sexual assault of eight girls at the school.

On Sunday, Leifer, who has been under house arrest in Israel since 2014, failed to show for a court hearing for the seventh time. Her lawyers told the Jerusalem District Court that she suffers from a psychiatric condition, and asked the court to adjourn the case for up to two years, adding that they're planning to file a request with the attorney general to drop the extradition.

The victims' representative in court, Attorney Manny Waks, severely criticized Leifer's absence from court proceedings. "How appalling to hear representatives of Mrs Leifer talk about 'justice,' when that is all the victims dream about back in Australia," Waks told the Herald Sun.

Melbourne’s Supreme Court in September ordered the school to pay one of the students over $1 million in damages over the board’s actions in aiding Leifer to leave after she had been fired, and for its failure to report the incidents to the police.

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