SIX years after she fled to Israel following allegations of child sexual abuse, former Adass Israel Girls’ School principal Malka Leifer could be forced to return to Australia to face the music.
The AJN understands that moves are afoot to extradite Leifer, who was sacked by the school in 2008 and fled to Israel soon after, following complaints from several students in her care that she had acted inappropriately.
A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy said he had “no further information” on the extradition proceedings, while the Attorney- General’s Department said in a statement it was “the longstanding policy of the Australian government not to disclose whether an extradition request has been made or received by Australia, unless and until such time as a person is arrested in relation to such a request”. The Australian Federal Police declined to comment.
It is believed statements were made to police by alleged victims of Leifer in 2012 and that extradition proceedings were launched some 18 months ago.
It was revealed in The Age on the weekend that a former student had lodged a civil suit with the Supreme Court last year against the school and its former principal, and that a second suit lodged by another former student had been dropped.
The AJN can reveal that the second suit was settled out of court, though the details of settlement are unknown. The news comes just weeks after historic charges of child sexual abuse against a former bus driver at the ultra-Orthodox school were dropped.
The man had been facing six counts of indecent assault, alleged to have occurred in the 1980s, but was deemed unfit to stand trial. It is believed the man sustained serious injuries after he was attacked.
A spokesperson for the Office of Public Prosecution told The AJN: “Having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the nature and seriousness of the offence and the fact that there was evidence that the accused was unfit to stand trial, it was determined that it was not in the public interest to prosecute.”
In other news, child rapist and former Yeshivah (Melbourne) employee David Cyprys has been unsuccessful in an attempt to appeal his conviction on five counts of rape.
Cyprys is currently serving eight years in jail.
Former Adass Israel Girls’ School principal Malka Leifer could be forced to return to Australia.