Middle East

Israeli court rules Malka Leifer remains in jail


After another bail hearing in Jerusalem District Court, Malka Leifer will continue to be incarcerated for the remainder of her legal process.

The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that accused child sex offender Malka Leifer will remain in jail for the remainder of her legal proceedings.

The court also ruled another psychiatric assessment would be undertaken, as the defence continues to argue she is mentally unfit.

Dassi Erlich, one of the students from the Melbourne Adass high school allegedly abused by Leifer, said in a statement she and her sisters are "hugely relieved that bail has been denied".

The former Victorian school principal - who would face 74 charges of sex abuse and rape if extradited to Australia - once again failed to appear in court on Monday.

Malka Leifer at a hearing at the District Court in Jerusalem last year.
Malka Leifer at a hearing at the District Court in Jerusalem last year.

Manny Waks, the CEO of Kol V'oz, a Jewish organisation preventing sexual abuse the community, told AAP ahead of the trial he didn't expect Leifer to show up to court.

Leifer has rarely appeared since she was arrested in 2014, apparently due to medical reasons.

Though her appearance was scheduled to be an open court, family members of Leifer were allowed to file into the courtroom while press were pushed out.

From information related from Manny Waks' live feed, the defence continued to argue Leifer's life is in danger by staying in jail for the duration of legal proceedings.

According to Waks, the judge became seemingly frustrated with the circular argument of the defence, who argued Leifer could have lifelong damage from incarceration.

In the last bail hearing, on November 21 last year, a psychiatrist had told the judge it was not life threatening for Leifer to remain in jail.

The judge asked what had changed in the last few months, in which the prosecution replied there had been no changes and there is no need for another psychiatric assessment.

The prosecution firmly asserted she should stay in jail until the end of legal proceedings.

"We're very pleased about the decision, we hope this is a continuation of the wheels of justice, albeit it slowly, going forward," Waks stated at the end of the proceedings.

Leifer's extradition hearing continues on March 6.

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