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Timeline: How the Malka Leifer case unfolded

Deborah Stone
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Leifer fit to stand

Published: 3 April 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

It took 15 years, more than 60 extradition hearings and massive determination but yesterday Malka Leifer was found guilty. Here is how it happened.

2003 - 2006: Alleged abuse of Nicole Meyer at Adass Israel School in Melbourne.

2004 - 2006: Abuse of Dassi Erlich

2006 - 2007: Abuse of Elly Sapper

March 2008: Allegations first surface that Leifer abused students. Leifer is dismissed from her position as principal of the Adass Israel school and flees to Israel.

August 2014: Leifer is arrested in Israel and placed under house arrest. Campaign begins to have her extradited to Australia for trial.

September 2015: Dassi Erlich receives $1.27m in damages from Adass Israel in a civil case after the other sisters receive confidential settlements.

June 2016: The first of more than 60 extradition hearings is held in Israel. The judge rules Leifer is unfit to stand trial and she is released.

February 2018: Leifer is re-arrested in Israel.

March 2018: Court releases Leifer from house arrest into custody of rabbi. Ruling is overturned by Supreme Court and Leifer is returned to house arrest.

July 2019: Medical committee rules Leifer faked medical condition to avoid extradition

September 2019: Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Deputy Health Minister Yaacov Litzman is accused of using his office to protect Leifer. More than 2000 Australian Jews sign a The Jewish Independent petition calling for the sacking of Litzman. He is subsequently indicted for breach of trust and signs a plea deal.

October 2019: Judge orders Leifer be kept in jail and extradition be sped up.

September 2020: Israeli court gives Leifer extradition order. Leifer appeals.

December 2020: Extradition appeal is rejected.

January 2021: Leifer is extradited to Australia and arrives in Melbourne, shortly before borders close due to Covid.

September 2021: Committal hearing is held in the County Court of Victoria and Leifer is remanded for trial.

February 2023: Leifer trial begins. She pleads not guilty to 29 charges, subsequently reduced to 27 as two incidents occurred before relevant laws came into effect.

April 2023: Leifer is found guilty on 18 counts.


Malka Leifer found guilty of rape and indecent assault (The Jewish Independent)

Photo: Leifer is led into court during one of 60 extradition hearings in Israel.

About the author

Deborah Stone

Deborah Stone is Editor-in-Chief of TJI. She has more than 30 years experience as a journalist and editor, including as a reporter and feature writer on The Age and The Sunday Age, as Editor of the Australian Jewish News and as Editor of ArtsHub.

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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