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Saturday, December 14, 2019 

The delay of the verdict on the Leifer case is irritating

The panel assigned to make a determination on Haredi child molestor Malka Leifer missed their deadline, and the verdict's been delayed another few weeks:
A psychiatric panel notified the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday that it had been unaware of a deadline for it to present its conclusion on whether alleged sex offender Malka Leifer has been feigning mental illness in order to avoid extradition to Australia.

The medical board had been slated to present its findings at a hearing on Tuesday morning, as scheduled over three months ago. However, with dozens of journalists and interested parties packed into the courtroom, Judge Chana Lomp entered briefly only to read aloud a letter from the head of the panel, Northern District chief psychiatrist Amir Ben Ephraim, who said that he and his two colleagues needed additional time to properly examine Leifer.

Lomp announced that the panel would have until January 10 to hand down their recommendation and that a hearing to discuss the conclusions would be held on January 14.

Leifer’s accusers responded with disgust to the announcement, saying they had been waiting anxiously for Tuesday’s court date — the 62nd since Leifer was first arrested in Israel in 2014.

“We feel sick with anxiety. Three months waiting for this day. Who didn’t get the memo? Was this intentional?” tweeted Dassi Erlich, who has led a public campaign to extradite her former principal back to Australia, where she faces 74 charges of sex abuse.

“Will it actually go ahead? How much longer can we hold on??” she added in a separate statement.

The nature of the delays in the Leifer case have been a cause of strain in relations between Jerusalem and Canberra. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month called on Israel to wrap the case up swiftly.

In a Monday interview with the Kan public broadcaster, Australian Attorney General Christian Porter said, “There is no denying that there is a very significant level of frustration in Australia among victims, among the wider public who these [alleged] offenses are well known to… that progress has been as slow as it has, unfortunately.”

“The Jewish community is frustrated that today marks yet another delay,” said Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler in a statement. “Leifer has been allowed to carry on this farce for way too long. She needs to return to Australia to face trial. The Jewish community stands with the survivors and their campaign to bring Malka Leifer back to Australia to face justice.”
Why do I get the strange feeling this was all deliberate? I know she tried to appeal the ruling she must go before the psychiatric panel, and it could have something to do with that. But then, that makes this case all the more disgusting. Should the shrinks fail to deliver a recommendation helpful to the victims, they'll only have damaged everything ever more. Stop with this farce already.

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