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Australian Jewish community leader jailed for perjury

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A former Australian federal judge and a high-profile member of the Jewish community has been jailed for at least two years for perjury.

Marcus Einfeld was sentenced in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Friday to three years jail with a minimum non-parole period of two years for lying to avoid paying a $52 speeding fine. Justice Bruce James said Einfeld’s “deliberate premeditated perjury” was “part of a planned criminal activity”.

Einfeld, 69, is a former executive member of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, councillor of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and patron of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants.

Once a leading human rights lawyer and U.N. peace laureate, Einfeld swore under oath that a woman – who, it transpired, was already dead – was driving his car when it was flagged for a traffic offense in 2006. Einfeld, who later pleaded guilty, is the son of the late Sydney Einfeld, a former Labor Party lawmaker and NSW government minister and former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

A former president of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, Marcus Einfeld was a champion of the left and was named an Australian Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia in 1997. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 1998 for his promotion of human rights, although he is now expected to be stripped of the honor.

Einfeld was also involved in the Rule of Law project in the Palestinian territories following the Oslo Accords. The project began to train Palestinian judges and lawyers to help establish Palestinian law.

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