Will the pandemic complicate Malka Leifer's extradition?

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation poised the question of how exactly to accomplish this amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Malka Leifer (photo credit: MAARIV/AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Malka Leifer
(photo credit: MAARIV/AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn approved the extradition of alleged-sexual abuser Malka Leifer to Australia on Wednesday night, only one day after the Supreme Court approved her extradition.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) poised the question of how exactly to accomplish this amid the coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, the Israel-based division of Interpol is in talks with Victoria Police on specific arrangements for Leifer's extradition. Arrangements such as if Victoria Police will arrive in Israel to pick up Leifer personally, and whether or not she will have to endure any type of quarantine before being sent off.
ABC noted that many extraditions processes this year have been affected by the current health crisis, and a primary issue being that there is a shortage of commercial flights from Israel traveling to Australia.
Israel has 60 days to carry out the extradition, however, Leifer, accused of 74 counts of sexual abuse, now has only one last delay tactic left.
Though she appealed her extradition order by a lower court to the Supreme Court regarding legal grounds, she can still file a new petition to the Supreme Court, in its capacity as the constitutional High Court of Justice, to attack Nissenkorn’s signing of the order.
Nissenkorn is supposed to consider a variety of political and extra-legal issues, not considered by the extradition litigation process.
However, based on the speed with which the Supreme Court dismissed Leifer’s original appeal, chances are she could be on her way to Australia soon.
Commenting on the length of the extradition proceedings against Leifer, Supreme Court Justice Anat Baron said Tuesday: “There is no process that the appellant did not take and not claim she skipped over” in her efforts to avoid extradition.
“It should be known that anyone who seeks to escape justice will not find a city of refuge in Israel,” she wrote in the decision.
Despite claims by her defense lawyers that the sexual acts she allegedly committed against her victims were not explicitly mentioned in the Israel-Australia extradition treaty, it was the clear intent of the authors of the treaty to include all types of sexual acts when seeking the extradition of someone accused of abusing their authority over a dependent for sexual gratification, he wrote.
Supreme Court Justice Yitzhak Amit, who authored Tuesday’s decision, also rejected Leifer’s argument that since Israeli law requires an alleged victim to prove that there was abuse of a position of authority to carry out the sexual acts over a dependent, and that Australian law assumes automatically that a teacher engaged in sexual activity with a pupil is abusing that position of authority, the extradition treaty does not apply to Leifer.
Leifer’s lawyers have argued that the sexual acts that her victims allege she committed were done with consent, although her alleged victims strongly reject this claim.
Amit rejected this argument. The relevant laws in the countries signatory to the extradition treaty did not need to be exactly the same, he wrote, adding that as long as the foundations of those laws were the same, the treaty is applicable.

Yonah Jeremy Bob and Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.