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Israeli deputy minister questioned for obstructing justice

February 14, 2019

JERUSALEM (AP) — Officials in Israel say a deputy cabinet minister is being investigated for ethics violations.

Israeli media reported that the inquiry involved suspicions that Deputy Health Minister Yaacov Litzman obstructed justice by attempting to prevent the extradition of a woman accused of sex crimes in Australia.

Litzman’s office confirmed that police summoned him for questioning Thursday.

Australia wants Malka Leifer extradited for allegedly abusing children while she was a teacher. Israel’s state prosecution says Leifer is feigning mental illness to dodge extradition.

Police would not elaborate, but Israeli media reported that Litzman is suspected of trying to falsify psychiatric medical evaluations that would bar Leifer from extradition.

An Israeli court previously halted extradition proceedings after determining Leifer was not fit to stand trial.