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Litzman plea deal “very disappointing”

Jan 28, 2022 | AIJAC

Yakov Litzman (Credit: Roman Yanushevsky/ Shutterstock)
Yakov Litzman (Credit: Roman Yanushevsky/ Shutterstock)

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council is very disappointed with the plea bargain to end the criminal trial of former Israeli deputy health minister Yaakov Litzman.

Litzman was charged with obstruction of justice for alleged attempts to use his position to help accused child sex offender Malka Leifer avoid extradition to Australia to face charges.

The provisions of the reported plea deal are that he will plead guilty to the lesser charge of breach of trust,  and will receive only a nominal fine and a suspended sentence and will not be prevented from continuing as a Knesset member.

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said, “We are very troubled by this arrangement. It is a truth in both secular and Jewish jurisprudence that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done, and neither of these requirements would seem to be fulfilled here.

“This result can only add to the trauma of Malka Leifer’s alleged victims, and we express our support for them at what must be a difficult time. There is no doubt they will be feeling let down by the Israeli justice system. Their distress will be shared by the Australian Jewish community as a whole, which has followed and admired their inspirational fight for justice.

“We note that the deal must be approved by a judge, who we hope  ensures that Litzman is properly and appropriately held accountable for his conduct, and justice is served.” Dr Rubenstein concluded.

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