A court sketch of Malka Leifer last week. (Paul Tyquin)

Former school principal Malka Leifer ordered to stand trial

Former school principal Malka Leifer has been committed to stand trial over alleged sex offences.

Ms Leifer, 55, is accused of sexually abusing three of her students between 2004 and 2008.

In the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, she entered a plea of not guilty and was committed to stand trial on 70 charges. Four other charges were dismissed.

The complainants – sisters Elly Sapper, Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer – have been granted a court order that allows them to publicly identify themselves.

Charge sheets allege Ms Leifer — who was brought to Australia by the school — committed offences in Elsternwick, Elwood, Frankston and Emerald, and in the towns of Blampied and Rawson.

She left Australia for Israel in 2008 when allegations against her emerged. She was charged in 2012 and extradition hearings began in 2014. She was extradited to Australia at the start of this year.

During the final day of the committal hearing before magistrate Johanna Metcalf, the court heard evidence from five witnesses including an Adass community psychologist and staff at the Adass Israel School in Elsternwick where Ms Leifer and the three complainants attended during the period of alleged offending.

There, psychologist Vicki Gordon told the court, she saw children from within the Adass Israel School community in 2007 and early 2008 before being employed as an in-school consultant for three months.

Read the article by Erin Pearson in the Brisbane Times.