Malka Leifer
Malka LeiferYonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday ruled at the end of a committal hearing that there is enough proof to try Malka Leifer for 70 counts of sexual abuse on three former students.,

The abuse occurred between 2003-2008, during Leifer's time as principal of the Adass Israel School in Melbourne.

The prosecutors left out four charges after it became clear that they were performed in Israel and that the local court has no authority to rule on the matter.

During the hearing, in which she participated from her jail cell through video, Leifer denied all of the charges.

The Magen organization, which is helping the victims, said: "We congratulate the justice systems in Australia for not taking their time and ruling that there a sufficient base of evidence in Malka Leifer's case."

"We stand with the brave claimants who did not agree to compromise and who fought for many years to bring Leifer to justice, and we are convinced that the Australia court will convict Leifer and put an end to this difficult saga."

The three women testifying at this stage of the trial are Elly Sapper, Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer – sisters who learned Adass Israel and who have accused Leifer of sexual abuse when they were students.

The allegations against Leifer first came to light in 2008, but Australian authorities were unable to arrest Leifer before she fled the country, moving to Israel, where she remained until her extradition in January 2021.

While Australia requested Leifer’s extradition in 2012, Leifer was not arrested in Israel until August 2014.

In 2016, however, Leifer’s extradition proceedings were frozen after experts backed claims she was unfit to stand trial.

Two years later, a reassessment – following work by private investigators – found that Leifer was in fact fit to stand trial, restarting the extradition process.

In December, then-Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn signed off on Leifer’s expulsion order, removing the last barrier to her extradition to Australia.