Accused Melbourne sex teacher Malka Leifer loses bail bid

Accused paedophile school principal Malka Leifer has lost her bid for prison release, with a judge refusing her request to be transferred into house arrest.

Leifer made an unsuccessful bid for bail tonight in Jerusalem, as a police investigation continued into whether a senior politician corruptly used his position to ensure she was not extradited to Australia.

She is being held in the Neve Tirtza women’s prison in Ramla, central Israel, while her lawyers appeal a ruling that she is well enough to face extradition proceedings.

Australia is seeking to have the former principal of the ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel School in Elsternwick, Melbourne, returned to face 74 charges of sexually abusing her former students.

Leifer is resisting the extradition bid, and has successfully argued for five years that she is too mentally unwell to face extradition proceedings.

She was rearrested in the ultra-Orthodox community of Emmanuel in the West Bank last year and charged with faking the mental illness, after an undercover investigation by an activist group and police found evidence of her living a normal life, shopping and catching the bus.

She had claimed she was housebound and virtually non-communicative.

The case has been bogged down for years in the court — tonight was the 46th time the case was listed.

Read the article by Ellen Whinnett in the Herald Sun.