Accused child-sex abuser Malka Leifer could be freed in Israel


An Israeli judge has ordered that former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer, who is accused of child sex offences, could be freed into home detention.

Angry scenes erupted outside an Israeli court after it ruled a former Melbourne principal accused of sex crimes could be released from police custody into home detention.

Malka Leifer's alleged victims said they're dumbfounded by the decision - alleging she poses a flight risk.

Supporters of Malka Leifer's alleged victims confronted an influential Rabbi outside court.

Until now, Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman has not been part of Leifer's case.

But he told the court the former educator - who's accused of 74 charges of child sexual abuse - should be freed.

He said it would damage her mental health to stay in custody - and his two assistants would monitor her while under house arrest.

The court ruled Leifer should be released into home detention with bail set at $37,000.

But the order has been delayed, allowing prosecutors trying to extradite her to appeal.

The decision shocked three Melbourne- based sisters that Leifer allegedly abused.

Dassi Erlich said "we are absolutely dumbfounded as we try to make sense of this bizarre state of affairs. We must ask where is humanity, where is justice, and where is protection of the vulnerable?"

The sisters are former students of Adass Israel School, where Leifer used to be the principal.

The school has refused to comment on the developments, saying it would be inappropriate while legal proceedings continue.

But Dassi's sister, Ellie Sapper claimed Leifer poses a flight risk - after fleeing to Israel in 2008 when allegations against her surfaced.

"I don't believe she'll be properly supervised," she said. "Our reaction is just complete shock and disappoinment and anger."

Another sister, Nicole Meyer said "we also hope the Rabbi may decide to withdraw his support, saying he can't look after her because she's a woman in a household of males, which is also not allowed for religious reasons. We're quite hopeful this bail will be removed."

Prosecutors will now lodge their appeal.

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