Leifer has been denied bail. Photo by Franck Bessiere
Leifer has been denied bail. Photo by Franck Bessiere

Alleged paedophile principal denied bail

ALLEGED paedophile Malka Leifer, the former Melbourne school principal accused of child sex crimes, has been denied bail by an Israeli Court.

The Times of Israel reported Leifer, 54, who is wanted on 74 charges of sexual abuse in Australia, will remain jailed until it's decided whether she will be extradited.

Victorian police are seeking the extradition of Leifer, who was the headmistress at Adass Israel Girls School in Elsternwick from 2000-2008.

Judge Avigdor Dorot wrote that he was not convinced by Leifer's legal team that evidence gathered against her had not been partial and prejudiced, according to The Times of Israel.

Dorot upheld the conclusion of the court's psychologist, who found she was fit to stand trial.

Leifer was arrested in February this year after it was revealed she had faked psychosis in order to dodge a court appearance, and thus, extradition to Australia.

When abuse allegations began to surface in 2008, two board members at Leifer's former school decided to buy her and her family one-way tickets to Tel Aviv, the ABC reported.

Leifer was the headmistress at Adass Israel Girls School in Melbourne from 2000-2008.   Picture: Supplied
Leifer was the headmistress at Adass Israel Girls School in Melbourne from 2000-2008. Picture: Supplied

Her defence team is expected to appeal Sunday's decision, and continue to stand by the assertion that Leifer is being medicated for mental conditions, including PTSD, The Times of Israel reported.

Another hearing regarding her extradition is scheduled for July 15.

It was also reported that alleged victim, Dassi Erlich, who previously feared Leifer would continue to evade justice, took to Facebook and wrote she could "breathe a sigh of relief for another day."

"We are so grateful she is in custody and unable to continue harming the vulnerable," she wrote.

Alleged victim Dassi Erlich said she was grateful Leifer was in custody. Picture: Paul Jeffers
Alleged victim Dassi Erlich said she was grateful Leifer was in custody. Picture: Paul Jeffers

Victorian police filed their extradition request against Leifer in 2014, but an Israeli court stopped the process in 2016 after a psychiatric assessment found she was not fit to stand trial. They instead ordered her to appeal before a panel of psychiatrists every six months, before authorities rearrested her this year on charges of feigning mental illness.

She was uncovered by global anti-child abuse organisation hired a private investigator to look into her claims.

The material gathered in the surveillance appeared to contrast with Leifer's claims that

she could not be extradited to Australia because her mental illness was so severe she was virtually housebound and non-communicative.

Her freedom ended on February 12 when she was dragged screaming from her home in Emmanuel, a remote ultra-orthodox Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Leifer is expected to remain behind bars until the end of extradition proceedings against her.


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