Accused abuse teacher wins delay
SCHOOLTEACHER Malka Leifer, who is fighting extradition to Australia over sexual abuse allegations, has had another delay in her case.
Witnesses who were called to testify did not get a chance to give evidence.
They were expected to provide statements that Leifer was healthy and fit to face court in Australia.
But the case was delayed until May 15.
The Jerusalem District Court court was expected to receive video footage of Leifer delivering cheques to a bank, shopping and sitting on a bus.
Leifer has claimed she was too sick to return to Australia to face 74 charges of rape and sexual abuse during her time at Melbourne's Adass Israel School.
The hearing, which was the 51st time the case had been before the court, did not require the witnesses to speak.
Witness Noami Tzubari said outside court that she met Leifer, her neighbour, when she was struggling for money.
"I was in a terrible shape. I suffered from bad health. She saw my state and she came to me and said go to the donors but don't tell them I sent you," she said.
"Tell them you were injured in a terrorist attack and they will help you."
But Ms Tzubari said that the money she collected from wealthy Jewish donors did not end up in her accounts.
She questioned whether Leifer, who had previously raised funds to operate ultra-orthodox schools, had kept some of the money.
"Now that I have spoken, I might experience a revenge," she added.
The women both lived in Emmanuel, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Leifer is facing charges of rape and sexual abuse of female students at the ultra-orthodox Adass Israel School in Elsternwick, Melbourne.
She fled to Israel in 2008 and had claimed she was too unwell to return to Australia to face the charges.
But she was arrested in Israel last year and remains in custody.
Ms Tzubari said she felt sorry for Leifer's children, who remain in Emmanuel.
Dassi Erlich, who along with her two sisters were among Leifer's alleged victims, said she was frustrated at the delays in the court process.
"This was hearing day 51 and still nothing is happening," she said from Australia.
"We understand that some witnesses are not going to be cross examined now and more witnesses will be cross examined on Wednesday and we are just hoping that this process is over already."
Her sister, Nicole Meyer, added: "We trust that the witness testimonies will be good and we hope definitely it will move faster now and we also hope to be in Israel as soon as possible to hear the judge's decision."
Elly Sapper, also an alleged victim, said: "We hope that this will expedite the process and she will be in Australia soon to face trial."