Malka Leifer in court in Israel
Malka Leifer in court in IsraelFlash90

On Tuesday morning, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal lodged on behalf of Malka Leifer protesting her extradition to Australia, and ruled that the extradition would go ahead.

After years of litigation, Leifer will be sent back to Australia to stand trial for sexual offenses.

In her ruling, Judge Anat Baron wrote that, “Since the initial petition for extradition to Australia, more than six years have passed, years during which the defendant used every possible procedure and claim to prevent her extradition. Let it be known to all who would seek to evade justice in Israel that they will not find a place of refuge here.”

Commenting on the Court’s decision, Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said: “I welcome the Supreme Court's ruling declaring that the extradition of Malka Leifer to Australia is to go ahead. After many torturous years, it is time to do justice to Leifer's victims. I intend to sign the extradition order without delay.”

A petition to have Leifer extradited to Australia to face charges of sexual offenses committed against minors (her former students) was first presented in 2014. However, the District Court that heard the petition ruled that Leifer was unfit to stand trial in view of her mental state, and therefore the proceedings were terminated in 2016.

However, at the beginning of 2018, the extradition request was reinstated, due to suspicions that Leifer was exaggerating her mental health issues and presenting her condition falsely. A number of expert psychiatric opinions were presented, resulting in the District Court ruling that Leifer was indeed fit to stand trial.

Leifer’s legal representatives appealed this ruling in the Supreme Court, which rejected it two and a half weeks ago. The District Court then ordered Leifer to be extradited, and this morning, the appeal on the extradition was rejected by the Supreme Court.