Jerusalem | The Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a woman wanted on 74 child sexual abuse charges in Australia after a six-year legal battle weighed on relations between the two governments

Malka Leifer, a former teacher accused of sexually abusing several former students at a Jewish school in Melbourne, has been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014. Leifer maintains her innocence and lengthy legal process and has experienced repeated delays their extradition has been criticized by both Australian officials and the country’s Jewish leaders

Israeli media photographed Leifer boarding a plane at Ben Gurion Airport early Monday Her ankles and wrists were tied. Her attorney Nick Kaufman confirmed the extradition

The Hebrew language news site Ynet reported that she was boarding a flight to Frankfurt, where she would switch to another flight to Australia

Her departure was scheduled to leave the country before Israel closed the airport at midnight due to the country’s coronavirus outbreak

In December, the Supreme Court dismissed a final appeal against her extradition, and the Israeli Justice Minister signed the order to send her to Australia

Leifer faces 74 child sexual abuse charges allegedly committed while teaching in Melbourne

When allegations against her surfaced in 2008, Israel-born Leifer left school and returned to Israel, where she has lived ever since

Critics, including Leifer’s alleged victims, had accused the Israeli authorities of dragging the case out for far too long, while Leifer claimed she was mentally incapable of standing on trial

Last year, an Israeli psychiatric panel found that Leifer had lied about her mental state and initiated extradition.

Avi Nissenkorn, Israel’s former Justice Minister who signed the extradition warrant, wrote on Twitter: “I made a promise not to obstruct the extradition warrant, and I did”The victims of Malka Leifer will finally deserve an act of justice”

Manny Waks, director of the Department of Child Sexual Abuse, an organization representing Laifer’s alleged victims, said in a statement: “This is an incredible day for justice!”

“We can really look forward to seeing Leifer on trial in Australia on the 74 charges she faces,” he said

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Malka Leifer, a former teacher accused of abusing students in Melbourne, is on her way to Australia after a six-year legal battle in Israel

Malka Leifer

World news – AU – extradition of Malka Leifer: Israel puts accused sex offender on a plane to Australia