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Israeli court OKs evaluation of Australia sex crimes suspect

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a former educator accused of sexually abusing students in Australia, paving the way for a new psychiatric evaluation to determine her fitness to stand trial for extradition.

Australia wants Malka Leifer extradited to face 74 charges of abusing students while she was principal at a Jewish religious school in Melbourne. Prosecutors say she is feigning mental illness to dodge extradition.

Tuesday’s decision upheld a lower court’s ruling ordering a re-evaluation and rejected Leifer’s attorneys’ claims that there were no grounds for a new evaluation.

Kol V’Oz, an Israeli advocacy group against child sexual abuse, said it believes the panel will find that Malka Leifer is “fit to face justice and that the extradition process will finally recommence.”

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