A defence psychiatrist has told a Jerusalem court that accused child sex offender Malka Leifer is not fit to be extradited to Australia to face charges. Dr Gregory Katz, who works in Jerusalem’s Kfar Shaul Mental Health Centre, was cross-examined on Wednesday.Melbourne sisters Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer, who have been championing this campaign to have Leifer sent back to Australia to face 74 charges of child sexual abuse and rape, travelled to Israel for the closed hearing in the Jerusalem District Court. Now in the 47th hearing since Leifer was arrested in Israel last February, these charges stem from her time as principal of the ultra-orthodox Adass Israel School in Elsternwick in Melbourne’s south-east.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Dassu Erlich stressed how difficult it was to sit in the room with Leifer and her supporters. Erlich said: “It was hard, it was hard to sit there behind her family who are hoping for a very different outcome than we are. It was hard to sit there watching them hold Jewish objects, praying to a God and we’re wondering what God they’re praying to that protects [alleged] abusers. It was hard to hear them talking about her mental health. What about our mental health? This has gone on for so long, we just want this to end.”