Further delay announced in trial of alleged sex abuser Malka Leifer

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Further delay announced in trial of alleged sex abuser Malka Leifer

The former headteacher of a strictly-Orthodox school in Melbourne will face her accusers this month after a years-long campaign

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Malka Leifer, pictured outside an Israeli court in 2018 (Photo: Reuters)
Malka Leifer, pictured outside an Israeli court in 2018 (Photo: Reuters)

There has been yet another delay in the trial of Malka Leifer, the Australian high school headteacher who was returned to the country last year after fleeing in 2008.

She spent 13 years in Israel after being accused of child sex abuse against numbers of her former pupils.

Ms Leifer, who headed the strictly-Orthodox Adass Israel school in Melbourne, was due to face her accusers in court this week.

Three of the women have waived their right to anonymity and are sisters from the same family: Nicole Meyer, Dassi Erlich and Elly Sapper.

But at pre-trial hearings in Melbourne on Monday, it was announced that the trial has been adjourned until Monday August 22, and will open at the County Court of Victoria.

The planned trial before Judge Mark Gamble is expected to last five weeks.

Pre-trial arguments before Judge Gamble continue.

It took years for campaigners to persuade Australian authorities to apply to extradite Malta Leifer from Israel, but eventually she was returned in January 2021.

She faces 70 sex offence charges and allegations from at least eight alleged victims.

She originally faced 74 charges, but four of those were dropped last year.

She has always denied the claims.

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