Ruling in Leifer case finally delivers long-delayed justice - opinion

Justice has finally been served to the sex abuser.

Malka Leifer
Justice has finally been served.
Capping a six-year ordeal, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the final appeal by the lawyers of former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer, paving the way for her extradition to Australia, where she is wanted on multiple charges of sexual abuse of pupils.
Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn must authorize Leifer’s extradition, and he tweeted that he would sign the order “without delay.”
Three of Leifer’s alleged victims, sisters Dassi Erlich, Nicole Meyer and Elly Sapper have waged a long legal and public diplomacy campaign for Leifer’s extradition.
Erlich responded to the Supreme Court decision by tweeting “A STAGGERING CONCLUSION TO 74 COURT HEARINGS!”
The case has put a strain on the usually excellent relations between Israel and Australia.
Welcoming the decision, Australia’s Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a statement that “although this latest development is a significant step forward – possibly the most positive step thus far – in what has been a long process, there are still steps to be undertaken in Israel,” he said. “Nevertheless, this is a significant milestone which should provide alleged victims some hope that this part of the process to bring Ms Leifer to justice in Australia is edging closer to a conclusion.”
Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler said: “Dassi, Nicole and Elly have been incredibly strong through these many years. Their ordeal is not yet over, but we have come one giant step forward. Finally, it is time to bring Leifer back.”
“It should be known that anyone who seeks to escape justice will not find a city of refuge in Israel,” Justices Anat Baron, Isaac Amit, and Ofer Grosskopf wrote in a unanimous decision on Tuesday.
The judges are correct, but failed to note that it took six years of a long legal saga to reach that achievement. The judicial system allowed endless testimony and appeals to take place, which delayed what should have been a relatively simple issue.
While we do not want courts to make decisions without hearing all sides and without going through all of the necessary motions, we also do not want courts to drag their feet. Victims deserve to have their day in court and to obtain justice if a crime is suspected of having been committed.
Beyond the snail’s pace of the legal proceedings, Leifer’s case also exposed the untenable situation that enables Jews from around the world flee here under the Law of Return as they try to evade justice in the country where they committed their alleged crimes.
The Law of Return grants any Jew around the world the right to immigrate to the Jewish state and automatically obtain citizenship.
Unfortunately, this right has been abused on a regular basis by either convicted sex offenders or individuals already on trial, or under investigation for such crimes.
The ‘Post’s Jeremy Sharon reported that according to the Magen organization, which fights sexual abuse in the Jewish community, approximately 40 individuals who have been convicted of sex offenses in their country of origin, or were on trial or under investigation there, have successfully made aliyah over the last decade.
While the State of Israel has a historical and national responsibility to allow Jews from around the world to obtain citizenship and live in the Jewish state, equally, it has an ethical responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and ensure that its shores are not a refuge from justice for Jewish sex offenders.
One of the ways to help this situation would be to enact legislation that affords a faster and more efficient extradition process. It is also worth reconsidering granting automatic citizenship to people eligible under the Law of Return without first examining their past and checking to see if there is an open investigation against them in their country of origin.
Thankfully, Israel has finally done the right thing by the victims of Malka Leifer. We must insure that the next case involving similar atrocities is handled with far more expediency and that efforts are put into place to prohibit criminals like Leifer from entering the country in the first place.