Posted 26 января 2021, 13:07

Published 26 января 2021, 13:07

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

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Israel extradited teacher accused of 74 cases of sexual assault

26 января 2021, 13:07
Фото: Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Israeli Malka Leifer is accused of molesting female students during her tenure as the headmistress of an ultra-Orthodox girls' school in Australia. Eight schoolgirls reported 74 incidents of sexual assault.

For many years, Leifer fled from justice at home, according to The New York Times. The other day, according to unofficial information, she was finally extradited from Israel to Australia, where the woman will be brought to trial.

Leifer is now 54. In the early 2000s, she came from Israel to Australia, where from 2004 to 2008 she worked as director of a Jewish girls' school in Melbourne. As it later turned out, all these years, Leifer subjected her students to harassment and sexual abuse.

Adass Israel School is a closed school for girls from an ultra-Orthodox community, whose pupils live in almost complete isolation from the outside world: they cannot use computers and the Internet, watch movies and read the press. The truth about the headmistress came out only when one of the graduates got married, moved to Israel and began to visit a psychotherapist, to whom she told about nightmares involving Leifer.

The psychotherapist contacted colleagues from Australia, asking them to inquire about the school environment. They confirmed the suspicions, but before the police got down to business, Leifer managed to escape to Israel.

As a result of an investigation by Australian police, Leifer was charged with 74 cases of sexual assault, which killed at least eight female students. Israel has asked for extradition. However, all this time, Leifer's lawyers managed to convince the court that their ward is not psychologically ready for the process, since she suffers from anxiety disorder and panic attacks. And besides, living in an Australian prison would prevent her from leading a lifestyle befitting of Orthodox Jews. As a result, the ex-teacher, who had lived under house arrest for some time, was released from him, and she moved to one of the ultra-Orthodox settlements, where she led a completely comfortable lifestyle.

The Australian side had to put in a lot of effort to prove that Leifer is able to take responsibility for his actions, and her mental illness is nothing more than deception. The scandal even affected one of the cabinet ministers Benjamin Netanyahu: the Israeli police accused the former Minister of Health, also a Hasid, Yakov Litzman, of putting pressure on psychiatrists, forcing them to recognize Leifer as unhealthy.

In 2018, Jerusalem's chief psychiatrist declared the ex-teacher sane. And three years later, earlier this week, photos appeared on the Israeli Internet of Leifer being escorted aboard a plane in Tel Aviv. The defendant's lawyer confirmed that she was going to be sent to Australia, but said that the trial is unlikely to begin this year due to the pandemic. While the woman will be in custody. The defense has expressed the hope that Leifer will not be hindered in pursuing the lifestyle that her faith demands.