Jerusalem | Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a wanted woman on 74 counts of child sexual abuse in Australia, following a six-year legal battle that had strained relations between the two governments

Malka Leifer, a former teacher accused of sexually abusing several former students of a Jewish school in Melbourne, has been fighting Israel’s extradition since 2014 Leifer maintains her innocence and the lengthy legal process and repeated delays on his extradition drew criticism from Australian authorities as well as the country’s Jewish leaders

Israeli media photographed Leifer on a plane at Ben-Gurion Airport early Monday, ankles and wrists shackled. His lawyer, Nick Kaufman, confirmed the extradition

Hebrew-language news site Ynet reported that she boarded a flight to Frankfurt, where she would be transferred to another flight to Australia

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

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

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

As the charges against her began to surface in 2008, Israel-born Leifer dropped out of school and returned to Israel, where she has lived since

Critics, including Leifer’s alleged victims, had accused Israeli authorities of dragging out the case for too long, while Leifer claimed she was mentally unable to stand trial

Last year, an Israeli psychiatric panel determined Leifer was lying about his mental condition, triggering extradition

Avi Nissenkorn, the former Israeli justice minister who signed the extradition order, wrote on Twitter: “I promised not to obstruct the extradition order, and this did I do The victims of Malka Leifer will finally win an act of justice “

Manny Waks, head of Voice against Child Sex Abuse, an organization representing alleged victims of Leifer, said in a statement that “it is an incredible day for justice!”

“We can now really expect Leifer to be brought to justice in Australia on the 74 charges she faces,” he said

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

Malka Leifer

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