Leifer denied bail

Malka Leifer.

MALKA Leifer will remain in prison after a judge ruled she shouldn’t be granted bail.

The former Adass Israel principal, who has been charged with 74 counts of child sexual abuse in Australia, appeared in court on Sunday.

“We are extremely relieved that once again Malka Leifer has been denied bail,” Dassi Erlich, one of Leifer’s alleged victims, said.

“We can breathe a sign of relief for another day.

“We need this to end, we need justice.”

Aside from the court hearing, Erlich and her sisters, who were also allegedly abused by Leifer, had a week filled with anxiety. A supporter of Leifer called members of the Jewish community urging them to sign a letter stating that the former principal was a perfect educator and that she hadn’t sexually abused children.

The caller then said that if they didn’t agree to sign the letter, that “bad things will happen to them”.

When asked for proof, the caller referred to another sister of Erlich, who died in Canada in 2014.

“We told this to someone else, they didn’t listen to us, and they died,” the caller said.

Noting that she receives constant backlash for the campaign to bring Leifer to justice, Erlich said, “We can live with that backlash. But when Leifer’s supporters use my sister’s death as proof of their power that is going way way way too far.”

Leifer’s legal team have said they will appeal the judge’s decision to refuse bail.

There are currently two cases underway against Leifer. The first is the extradition hearing to have her returned to Australia to face the child sexual abuse charges.

The second case is based on an allegations from Israeli police that she has been faking a mental illness to help her avoid extradition proceedings.

“We just want her extradition trial to begin,” Erlich said.

“Her lawyers have said they are going to drag this out as long as possible, and so far it seems they are succeeding.”

Leifer extradition case, even if successful, could take up to two years.

If her legal counsel isn’t able to overturn this week’s ruling she is expected to stay in an Israeli women’s prison until she is extradited to Australia or the case is dismissed.

AJN STAFF