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March 22, 2018

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Israel mulls home arrest for Australian linked to sex crimes

Updated Thursday, March 8, 2018 | 9:26 a.m.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Supreme Court has ordered a woman accused of sex crimes in Australia to be kept in police custody in a medical facility while it considers moving her to house arrest.

Australia wants 54-year-old Malka Leifer extradited for allegedly sexually abusing children while she was a teacher at a local school. Israel's state prosecution says she is feigning mental illness to avoid extradition. Her extradition is the subject of a separate court case.

Leifer's lawyer, Yehuda Fried, told the court Thursday his client was not a flight risk.

He said: "She has nowhere to go. She is wanted worldwide."

The prosecution had appealed after a lower court decision that would have seen Leifer freed from police custody on Friday.

Leifer was arrested following an undercover investigation at Interpol's request.