Outrage over delay in sex-charge teacher’s extradition case
Former Melbourne teacher Malka Leifer's sex charge extradition hearing has been delayed again, as a medical panel asked for more time to assess her.
The case in Israel was called off at the last minute on Tuesday night following a request from the head of the psychiatric panel due to evaluate Leifer.
She is wanted in Australia over 74 charges relating to her time at Melbourne's ultra orthodox Adass Israel school.
Jerusalem district court judge Miriam Lomp dismissed the case last night Australian time.
"It's unfortunate you all came. The head of the psychiatric panel asked to delay the decision to examine Leifer again and read her medical file," the judge said.
The hearing was the 62nd time the case had come to court.
Speaking from her home in Australia, one of Leifer's alleged victims, Dassi Erlich, said: "We feel sick with anxiety. Three months waiting for this day.
"Adjourned - Jan 14 because the psychiatrists were unaware of hearing today.
"Who didn't get the memo? Was this intentional? Another nerve-racking month.
"We don't understand why this happening, but it doesn't make sense."
Manny Waks, chief executive of victims group Kol v'Oz, said outside court he was beyond outraged.
"This farce seems to be continuing. For some strange reason the judge didn't realise she didn't have all the material available to her," he said.
"Apparently the psychiatrist of the panel wasn't even aware that there was a hearing today so this charade goes on."
Leifer has been fighting extradition back to Australia to face 74 sex charges.
She fled to Israel in 2008 and has claimed that she was too sick to be returned to Australia.
Defence lawyer Tal Gabay said Leifer was receiving treatment under the supervision of the Israeli Prison Service.
"We wish to remind that dozens of opinions were submitted supporting the claim that she was unfit to stand trial," he said.
"Against these, two opinions stated that she was an impostor and both were rejected.
"We hope that the background noise that accompanies this case will not penetrate the panel."
The case was listed for January 14.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.