‘Totally overjoyed’: Alleged Malka Leifer victim reacts to ruling that former principal is fit to stand trial
One of the alleged victims of a former Melbourne school principal who faces 74 charges of child sexual abuse says she’s “overjoyed” an Israeli court has ruled the ex-teacher is mentally fit to be extradited to stand trial.
Malka Leifer is accused of abusing three sisters while she served as the principal of Adass Israel School in Elsternwick between 2001 and 2008.
Since 2014, there have been 67 hearings on the matter and Leifer has repeatedly claimed mental illness prevented her from returning to Australia.
The Israeli ruling that Leifer is fit to stand trial means lawyers can now pursue an extradition request to Victoria.
Dassi Erlich, one of Leifer’s alleged victims today told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell she couldn’t sleep last night after learning of the news.
“All night it has just been going over and over in my head, ‘Malka Leifier is fit to stand trial’,” she said.
“We knew it had to come to this day, but for it to finally be here, it is just unbelievable.
“This has really overtaken our lives and to have such a huge step forward now, we’re completely overjoyed.
“I’m very much looking forward to just closing this chapter of our lives behind us and just moving on with whatever comes next.”
Former premier Ted Baillieu, who has fought tirelessly for justice for Ms Erlich and her sisters, says the Israeli court decision is “huge”.
“I’m very pleased … but I’m sober about it because we have seen 67 hearings of courts in Israel,” he told Neil Mitchell.
“I think what the decision overnight has done, in part, is restore some confidence in the Israeli justice system.”
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(Image: @Dassi_Erlich / Twitter)
JUDGE RULED LEIFER IS MENTALLY FIT TO STAND TRIAL!
This abusive woman has been exploiting Israeli courts for 6 years! Intentionally creating obstacles, endless vexatious arguments – only lengthening our ongoing trauma!
Too many emotions to process!!! This is huge!
— Dassi Erlich #bringleiferback (@dassi_erlich) May 26, 2020