The Jerusalem District Psychiatrist, who was supposed to evaluate Mrs. Malka Laufer, who faces a 74 count indictment in Austria for attacks against her female students in a chareidi school which she ran in Melbourne, did not appear for the hearing as required.
The latest hearing against Laufer was held on Tuesday, and the state psychiatrist did not appear in court as required. A hearing was scheduled at which time the court was intending to announce if Laufer is mentally competent to be extradited and stand trial in Australia or not.
Judge Chana Miriam Lomp was expecting to have an expert medical opinion from the psychiatrist in which a final determination regarding her mental status would be made. The psychiatrist’s staff told the court he simply forgot the hearing was on Tuesday and the documents has not been prepared.
The court have the state an additional month to preform and complete the evaluation of Laufer and according to a News12 report the district psychiatrist requested additional time to evaluate her, wishing to meet with her a number of times.
Laufer’s defense attorney, Tal Gabbai, was told of the delay as the required documentation was not prepared as was to have been the case.
This case ties directly to Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, who is accused of using the authority of his office to have a state psychiatrist submit an official opinion that Mrs. Laufer is unfit for extradition and a trial, seeking to assist her because she is chareidi. Litzman’s office denies any attempted to assist her other than responding to a request for assistance as he receives from thousands of Israelis from all walks of life. It has also been reported that if she is not extradited, it might negatively impact diplomatic relations between Israel and Australia.
Following its investigation, Israel Police recommended a criminal indictment against Litzman for his interference in the case. In November, the attorney general’s office indicated a criminal indictment will be filed against Litzman in the case.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)