Leifer’s lawyers may sue state

Malka Leifer appears in an Israeli court. Photo: AP

MALKA Leifer’s legal team may sue the State of Israel, it announced in court on Tuesday. 

Leifer’s lawyer Yehuda Fried told judge Chana Lomp that the state could find itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit if he succeeds in derailing extradition proceedings. 

He said afterwards, “We told the court that if it turns out that we believe this is a futile proceeding, and we proved that there is false evidence, then we will consider filing a civil damages claim.”

Malka Leifer’s brother and sister outside the courtroom. Photo: Nathan Jeffay

This will become relevant, he told The AJN, “if and when the extradition process is cancelled, with the help of God”. 

Israeli state lawyer Matan Akiva, who is requesting extradition, declined to discuss this week’s three-hour hearing, which was closed to the media, with The AJN.

In this hearing, held two weeks after the court questioned Dr Brian Trappler, a controversial US-based psychiatrist chosen by the Leifer family, the court heard an assessment on Leifer’s mental state from another psychiatrist selected by the family. 

Israel-based Dr Sam Tyano said that Leifer is mentally unstable and unfit to stand trial for extradition. His assessment broadly agrees with that of Trappler, and will be cited by the defence in its argument to halt extradition proceedings. He refused to answer questions from The AJN

Leifer didn’t attend Tuesday’s court hearing, the 49th in the attempt to extradite her, but her brother and sister did.

NATHAN JEFFAY