Wed. May 29th, 2024

CANBERRA, Australia — A former principal of an Australian Jewish college feigned psychological sickness in a seven-year battle to keep away from extradition on youngster intercourse abuse costs, a prosecutor mentioned Thursday.

Malka Leifer fought her extradition in Jerusalem courts from 2014 till 2021, when she was flown from Israel along with her ankles and wrists shackled.

Leifer appeared Thursday within the Victoria state County Court docket for the second day of a sentencing listening to after she was convicted in April of sexually abusing two college students between 2003 and 2007 whereas she was principal of Melbourne’s ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel Faculty for women.

Prosecutor Justin Lewis advised Choose Mark Gamble that Leifer deserved much less credit score in her sentence for time she spent in custody and beneath home arrest in her native Israel as a result of she had “improperly annoyed and delayed the extradition proceedings.”

The District Court docket of Jerusalem dominated she was match to face trial and had been pretending to be mentally ailing as a way to keep away from extradition, he mentioned, and three judges of the Supreme Court docket of Israel unanimously agreed she may very well be prosecuted.

Two psychiatrists appointed by the Jerusalem District Psychiatrist reported to the District Court docket in February 2018 that Leifer didn’t endure from a psychological sickness within the authorized sense and was feigning her psychiatric situation as a way to stop her extradition to Australia.

A second evaluation, which included a 3rd psychiatrist appointed by the Jerusalem District Psychiatrist, additionally concluded that Leifer was feigning psychological sickness.

The District Court docket then ordered the Tel Aviv District Psychiatrist to nominate a panel of consultants to evaluate her. That panel unanimously concluded in January 2020 that she was mentally match to face trial and that she had “unquestionably been feigning her incapability to operate and comprehend her scenario,” Lewis mentioned.

Earlier than any authorized listening to, some psychiatric consultants and Leifer’s attorneys mentioned she skilled a “psychotic breakdown,” and her hospitalizations have been virtually all the time a number of days earlier than her case was due in court docket.

“Three panels of psychiatrists conclude that the accused is feigning psychological sickness in circumstances the place the psychological sickness basically constitutes some type of allergy to the authorized proceedings themselves,” Lewis mentioned. “The continuing had been prolonged by the acts of the accused in feigning psychological sickness for that very objective.”

Gamble adjourned the sentencing listening to to a 3rd day. The date has but to be determined.

He mentioned he had but to learn paperwork in either side’ submissions, together with Israeli court docket information. He was additionally awaiting an affidavit from Leifer’s lawyer in Israel in regards to the situations of her house detention there.

Leifer spent 608 days in house detention and 51 days in custody in Israel earlier than her extradition after a authorized battle that strained relations between the Australian and Israeli governments whereas antagonizing Australia’s Jewish group.

Leifer, who was born in Tel Aviv, got here to Australia in 2000 as the college’s head of faith and have become principal the next yr.

She returned to Israel in 2008 as allegations in opposition to her first emerged.

Sisters Dassi Erlich and Elly Sapper advised the court docket Wednesday that being sexually abused by Leifer broke their means to belief and was painful to recollect.

The Related Press doesn’t normally determine victims of sexual abuse, however the sisters have chosen to determine themselves within the media.

Leifer watched proceedings by way of a video hyperlink from a most safety girls’s jail in Melbourne.

She is convicted of six costs of rape, every carrying as much as 25 years in jail. She was convicted of three costs of sexual penetration of a kid, every carrying a possible 10-year sentence, and 6 costs of indecent assault, which additionally carries a 10-year sentence. She was convicted of three costs of committing an indecent act with a toddler, which is punishable by 5 years in jail. There are not any minimal sentences.

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