Sisters want to face Malka Leifer in court

Malka Leifer is accused of molesting her students at an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne.

Malka Leifer is accused of molesting her students at an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne.

Three sisters want to give evidence against their alleged abuser Malka Leifer in person as she faces dozens of charges stemming from her time at Melbourne’s Adass Israel School.

Ms Leifer, a 54-year-old former principal of the ultra-Orthodox college, faces 74 charges including rape and indecent assault between January 2004 and March 2008.

Siblings Dassi Erlich, Nicole Meyer and Elly Sapper are among 10 witnesses set to give evidence against Ms Leifer in a five-day Melbourne Magistrates Court committal hearing scheduled for September.

It will determine if there is enough evidence for Leifer to stand trial on 47 indecent assault charges, 13 counts of committing an indecent act with a child, 11 of rape and three of sexually penetrating a child.

Prosecutor Holly Baxter on Friday told the court the sisters wanted to give evidence against Ms Leifer in person and not via a remote facility. However, this option would remain available for them.

Some other witnesses in the case were based in Israel and would need to give evidence remotely, Ms Baxter said.

Ms Leifer remains in custody and appeared in court via video link. She did not speak except to confirm she could see and hear the court.

She was extradited from Israel in January following a years-long court battle and after she was found to be feigning mental illness.

The abuse is alleged to have occurred in the Melbourne suburbs of Elsternwick, Elwood, Emerald and Frankston, as well as in the state’s West Gippsland region and Blampied in the Central Highlands.

Her accusers were last year granted a court order allowing them to keep speaking publicly about their case and under their real names.


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