Australia asks Israel to quickly extradite alleged pedophile

Malka Leifer was accused of dozens of cases of sexual abuse of girls at a school. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 October 2019

Australia asks Israel to quickly extradite alleged pedophile

  • The 52-year-old fled to Israel in 2008 after the allegations first emerged
  • “My government is strongly committed to ensuring that justice is served in the case of Malka Leifer,” PM Morrison said

CANBERRA, Australia: Australia’s prime minister said on Wednesday he will raise with Israel’s next administration the need for a quick resolution to a 5-year-old extradition battle over an Israeli educator accused of child sex abuse in an Australian school.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a statement after meeting at Parliament House with sisters Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer, who were allegedly abused by Malka Leifer when she was principal of Melbourne’s ultra-orthodox Adass Israel school.
The 52-year-old fled to Israel in 2008 after the allegations first emerged.
“My government is strongly committed to ensuring that justice is served in the case of Malka Leifer,” Morrison said. “We call for the matter to be resolved transparently and quickly.”
“We also reaffirm our commitment to have Malka Leifer extradited to Australia to face 74 charges of child sexual abuse,” Morrison added.
Erlich told reporters outside Parliament House that she and her sister wanted the government “to do more.”
“Enough is enough. We don’t want platitudes, we want action,” Erlich said.
“This has taken a tremendous toll on both of our lives. Traveling back and forth, not seeing any results, the frustrations, knowing at some point she might get bail, it’s had an emotional toll on our lives,” Erlich said.
Myer, her sister, said: “We’re not just doing it for ourselves. We’re trying to give a message to all survivors that even if you have been abused, life can go on; justice should be served.”
Government lawmaker Dave Sharma, who was Australian ambassador to Israel in 2014 when the extradition request was made, and opposition lawmaker Josh Burns joined the sisters at a news conference to demonstrate that Australia’s major political parties were united in a bid to bring Leifer to justice.
Sharma said that after more than 60 Israeli court bearings, “we seem to be no closer to having Malka Leifer extradited.”
“We are here today to send a very clear message to Israel that this case is a high priority for Australia and it’s one we will be ceaseless in pursuing and it’s one that unless resolved soon will have an impact on the broader relationship,” Sharma said.
Israel’s Supreme Court last week upheld an appeal against a decision to release Leifer from jail to house arrest. Prosecutors argue she is feigning mental illness to dodge extradition.
The appeals court overturned a Jerusalem court’s decision a week earlier to grant Leifer release to house arrest “in order to give adequate response to concerns that the accused will flee or obstruct justice.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced this week that he has failed to form a majority government in parliament, marking a major setback for the embattled leader that plunges the country into a new period of political uncertainty.


Denmark: Police foil suspected extremist terror attack plans

Updated 3 min 41 sec ago

Denmark: Police foil suspected extremist terror attack plans

  • Police did not give an exact number for the arrests
  • “We now have the situation under control.”, said chief of police Skov

COPENHAGEN: Danish police have arrested “some 20 people” suspected of involvement in Islamist terrorism in a series of raids across the country, authorities said Wednesday.
Flemming Drejer, the operative head of the Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service, said the suspects were “driven by a militant, Islamist motive.”
Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Joergen Bergen Skov said some of them would be charged under the Scandinavian country’s terror laws on Thursday behind closed doors.
“Some had have procured things to make explosives and have tried to acquire weapons,” Bergen Skov told a joint press conference with the domestic intelligence service.
Drejer, the intelligence chief, said the arrests won’t change Denmark’s terror threat assessment, which “remains serious.”
“We look with great severity on a case like this one because it unfortunately confirms that there are people that have the intention and capacity to commit terror (attacks) in Denmark,” Drejer said.
Bergen Skov said police raided about 20 addresses in Denmark and six police departments across the country were involved. The raids and arrests were coordinated by the Copenhagen police.
No details were given as to what the target was or when an attack would take place.
Danish authorities have reported foiling several extremist attacks in recent years, including ones linked to the 2005 publication in a newspaper of 12 cartoons by various artists depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
A Danish court earlier this year gave a Syrian asylum seeker in Sweden a 12-year prison sentence for planning to explode one or more bombs in Copenhagen and stabbing random people with kitchen knives. Moyed Al Zoebi, 32, acted on behalf of the Daesh group, according to the Copenhagen City Court.
Al Zoebi had an accomplice, Dieab Khadigah, who was sentenced in Germany in July 2017 to a prison term of six-and-a-half years.
On Feb. 14, 2015, lone gunman Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein killed two people in separate shootings in Copenhagen, before being shot dead by police.