Malka Leifer led by prison service officers in Jerusalem court
Malka Leifer led by prison service officers in Jerusalem courtFlash 90

Malka Leifer, a former Australian educator accused of sexually abusing minors at a haredi school in Melbourne, has been declared fit to stand trial, after having been previously determined to be mentally unfit.

The decision was announced Thursday afternoon by a three-member psychiatric panel which had been assembled at the order of the Jerusalem District Court last September, after a medical committee found evidence that Leifer had faked mental illness in order to avoid being placed on trial or extradited to Australia, where she is wanted for 74 charges of sexual abuse against minors.

Two years ago, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that Leifer could not be extradited due to her alleged mental illness.

Leifer, the former principal of the Adass Yisrael girl’s school in Melbourne, fled Australia in 2008 shortly before she was formally indicted on child molestation charges. She eventually moved to the town of Emmanuel, in Samaria, where she was later arrested.

Australia has pressed Israel to extradite Leifer, including calls by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who urged Israel to “transparently and quickly” extradite her.