A former school principal in Australia faces trial on charges of committing sexual harassment against children in an ultra-Orthodox school Jewish in Australia. The woman appeared via the video link this Monday (13/9) on the opening day hearing pre-trial.
Malka Leifer, dual citizen Israel-Australia who was extradited to Australia in January, is shown on video from prison wearing a blue top. The woman denies 74 charges which include rape, indecent assault and child sexual abuse between 2004 and 2008, when he was a teacher of religious studies and principal at the Adass Israel School in Melbourne.
The preliminary hearing in Melbourne, which is expected to last until September 20, will decide whether there is enough evidence for Leifer to stand trial.
Looking down and often resting his chin on his left hand, Leifer only spoke to ensure that he could hear and see proceedings in Melbourne court, being held via video during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Yes, yes,” he replied when asked by prison guards, having failed to answer when first asked by the judge.
Journalists were excluded from video hearings during testimony by his victims.
Leifer was allowed by the judge to be absent on the Jewish holy day, Yom Kippur, which falls on September 16, but the trial was scheduled to continue on that day in his absence.
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