Sisters elated as Leifer arrested in Israel

Malka Leifer.

NICOLE Meyer said she almost fell off her bed when someone from the Israeli Ministry of Justice called her on Monday night and told her Malka Leifer had been arrested.

“I was just trying to chill a bit for the night when I got the news and everything was flipped,” Nicole, who along with her sisters Dassi Erlich and Elly Sapper are alleged abuse victims of the former Adass Israel principal, told The AJN.

“I thought ‘oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh’, this was the day we were waiting for.

“I didn’t wait to put down the phone to tell my sisters. I put the phone on speaker and then messaged them straight away while I was still speaking to Israel.”

Within an hour the three sisters were together.

Leifer allegedly sexually abused Meyer and her sisters while she was the principal of the school in Melbourne.

When allegations against Leifer were made in 2008, she fled Australia overnight.

Australia started extradition proceedings in 2014, but Leifer claimed she was too mentally unwell to face court, and, as a result was able to avoid extradition hearings.

That changed on Monday, when her freedom was stripped away from her with Israeli police charging her for allegedly faking her mental illness.

Erlich, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to bring back Leifer, said she started screaming when she found out the news.

She told The AJN she was shocked, overjoyed, apprehensive, nervous, excited and full of adrenaline when she found out about the arrest.

“We knew that the Israeli legal team were working really hard on various different options, but it was still a shock to us.”

Erlich said the first thing she did was post on Facebook, and the sisters were inundated with messages of support. I couldn’t relax enough to sleep. I didn’t sleep at all.”

Tuesday was also a late night with Leifer facing court in connection with the police charges.

“We only got home at 1am in the morning after all the media we spoke to and then we spent another two hours on the phone,” said Erlich.

“After some meditation, I was able to sleep.”

On Wednesday night, after The AJN went to print, Leifer was due to face court again in relation to both the allegation that she faked a mental illness and the extradition proceedings.

JOSHUA LEVI