Prosecutors vow to continue fight for return of a fugitive principal to Victoria

By Shannon Deeery (Australia Herald Sun)
January 27, 2017

Prosecutors have vowed to continue fighting for the return of a fugitive principal wanted to face dozens of child sex offences here.

Malka Leifer fled to Israel and has been on the run from Victorian authorities since 2008 after allegations of rampant sexual abuse were levelled at her while principal of Elsternwick's Adass Israel School.

Police have been told the mother of eight molested up to 10 girls, and they say she will be charged with more than 70 child sex offences if she returns to Melbourne.

But extradition proceedings were last year halted after an Israeli judge placed Mrs Leifer on a psychiatric treatment regimen that could last 10 years.

A hearing of the psychiatric panel regarding Mrs Leifer's case this week recommended the court order for her treatment be extended another six months because she was going through a psychotic phase.

A decision is yet to be made on whether or not to extend the order.

In a letter from Israeli prosecutors they said they were "fully committed to take any possible step in order to make the extradition of Mrs. Leifer to Australia possible according to the Israeli Law."

A defiant Mrs Leifer has told family and friends she will never return to Melbourne.

In 2015 the Supreme Court of Victoria awarded one of Mrs Leifer's alleged victims $1 million in damages.