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Israel’s president to take up extradition case of Malka Leifer

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, deputy leader Richard Marles, foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong and Mr Burns also met with the Israeli president.

Mr Burns said he raised the issue of the extradition of Ms Leifer with Mr Rivlin on behalf of his constituents and alleged victims.

“I was pleased that President Rivlin advised me that if hearings scheduled this week do not see this matter progress towards Malka Leifer being extradited to Australia, he will personally meet with the Chief Justice of Israel to discuss how this matter can be expedited,” Mr Burns said.

“This matter has dragged on far too long. These victims deserve justice and I will continue to fight until Malka Leifer is back in Australia facing trial.”

Since extradition proceedings were first brought by Australia six years ago, there have been more than 60 court hearings and the case still has not moved to the formal extradition phase.

Labor MP Josh Burns and Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles meet with Israel president Reuven Rivlin.

Labor MP Josh Burns and Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles meet with Israel president Reuven Rivlin.Credit:Auspic

The extradition case was ­adjourned last month to allow defence lawyers to prepare their cross-examination of a panel of psychiatrists who declared she was fit for extradition in January this year.

Ms Leifer fled Australia in 2008 after facing serious accusations that would result in 74 charges of sexual assault being filed against her by Victoria Police.

Australia has been requesting her extradition since she was arrested in 2014.

In the earlier meeting between Mr Morrison and Mr Rivlin, the two leaders talked about their nations’ responses to the coronavirus outbreak. To date, Israel has only recorded two cases of the virus but there are fears about an outbreak in nearby Iran.

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Mr Morrison and Mr Rivlin stressed the importance of defence and security cooperation, deepening science and technology links, and the long friendship and enduring people-to-people ties between Australia and Israel.

“Australia and Israel have a great friendship, and it’s a friendship between peoples, [it’s a] friendship that has been born out of deep respect and empathy for the struggles that Israel has faced,” Mr Morrison said.

“Our position has been very strong when it comes to defending the great democracy that is the
state of Israel … a beacon in an area where democracy is something that is not as widespread.”

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