MALKA Leifer’s alleged victims hope they are “one step closer” to justice after a Jerusalem court judge decided not to allow any more defence witnesses to cross-examine a psychiatric panel who assessed Leifer’s mental state.
The decision means the next court hearing on Wednesday, March 18 will hear summaries of the defence and prosecution’s cross-examinations.
It comes amid another setback in the case, however, after the Jerusalem District Court this week reportedly dismissed a request by the state attorney office’s to speed up extradition proceedings.
Just in from Israel…
Judge Lomp has decided not to allow any more defense witnesses.
The next court hearing will be summaries of the defense and prosecution, both taking place on the 18th March!
One step closer… #bringleiferback
— Dassi Erlich #bringleiferback (@dassi_erlich) March 11, 2020
According to Israel’s Channel 13, Judge Chana Lomp said the request was “without any legal basis”, noting the required legal proceedings had not yet been completed.
Meanwhile, Labor MP Josh Burns – who has been advocating for Leifer to face justice in Australia, where she faces 74 charges of child sexual abuse – has written to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin following their meeting last month during the President’s visit to Australia.
Stating, “While I make clear we do not wish to interfere with the independent judicial process currently under way,” Burns said, “I again put our request that the extradition proceedings be completed as expeditiously as possible.”
During their meeting, Rivlin vowed to personally intervene in the Leifer case if no progress was made in the latest round of court hearings in Israel.
Burns reiterated to Rivlin this week, “We will not rest until Malka Leifer faces trial in Australia.”
On Sunday, Caulfield MP David Southwick and former Victorian premier Ted Baillieu will be among attendees at an event in Melbourne in support of the #BringLeiferBack campaign.
The Loud Fence movement, a grassroots initiative that ties ribbons to show support to all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, will tie ribbons around the fence of Adass Israel School, where Leifer was principal before fleeing to Israel.
Community members have been invited to join the event, which will be held at the school’s Beavis St, Elsternwick gate at 5.30pm on Sunday, March 15. Ribbons may be tied from 3pm onwards.