Court date nine years in the making for ex principal

 

Nearly a decade after leaving the country, former principal Malka Leifer is back in Melbourne to face court on child sex abuse allegations.

The former principal of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Adass Israel School is expected to front Melbourne Magistrates Court at 10am Thursday after her plane touched down overnight.

Ms Leifer is accused of sexually abusing three of her former students between 2001 and 2008 but has denied all the allegations.

Former Australian teacher Malka Leifer is expected to face court on Thursday on sex abuse charges. Picture: Ynet News.
Former Australian teacher Malka Leifer is expected to face court on Thursday on sex abuse charges. Picture: Ynet News.

The 54-year-old woman fought her extradition back to Australia for six years through the Israeli court system, but her last appeal was rejected in December after more than 74 hearings.

Ms Leifer left Australia for Israel in 2008 and Victoria Police submitted their request for her to be extradited in 2014.

The arrival of her commercial flight back to Australia, at 8.44pm on Wednesday, marks the end of a complicated legal battle to bring her back.

 

"The arrival of Ms Leifer in Australia will bring relief to alleged victims who have waited many years for this moment," Australia's Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a statement.

"It is now important that the legal processes are allowed to proceed in Victoria without commentary which could affect that process."

Ms Leifer is likely to spend at least two weeks in quarantine while in custody following her arrival in Melbourne.

Sisters Elly Sapir, Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer are among the alleged victims of Ms Leifer. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING
Sisters Elly Sapir, Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer are among the alleged victims of Ms Leifer. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING

Her first hearing, a filing hearing, is expected to be held over video link, so the former educator is not expected to attend court in person.

Ms Leifer's alleged victims - sisters Dassi Erlich, Elly Sapper and Nicole Meyer - were vocal during the push to have Ms Leifer extradited, but have not commented since her arrival in Australia.

The sisters sought a court order so they could be named in proceedings.

Originally published as Court date 9 years in the making


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