Israeli Court Bid To Extradite Former Principal Accused of Molesting Girls At Melbourne’s Adass Israel School

Eight months after Malka Leifer was arrested in Israel at the request of Australian police, authorities are expected to outline her alleged offending in a bid to force her return to Melbourne.

If the extradition is granted, it is expected Mrs Leifer could be charged with dozens of rape and indecent assault offences.

The mother of eight has been accused of molesting students while principal of ultra orthodox Adass Israel School in Elsternwick between 2001 and 2008.

Among her alleged victims one has launched a civil suit against the former principal and the school in the Victorian Supreme Court.

The woman, now in her 20s, told the hearing last week the principal was a respected community leader who turned into a sexual predator after taking a special liking to her.

She said she would take her out of class and molest her up to three times a week at the school, in her home and on school camps.

The woman said the abuse left her suicidal.

The court has been told Mrs Leifer fled Melbourne in 2008 just days after her alleged offending was revealed publicly for the first time. A school committee decided to suspend Ms Leifer at that time and a report was made to police.

Urgent flights to Israel were organised by committee members. Mrs Leifer spent weeks in custody on her arrest in August and is now believed to be under house arrest.

She is not contesting the current civil action against her but is expected to fight any attempt to extradite her.

The matter had already been to court on several occasions but Israeli legal experts say the case could take up to two years to be finalised.

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