25 Apr 2018
Concluding the story of Dassi Erlich and her two sisters, who are fighting to extradite their former headmistress from Israel to face sexual abuse charges.
After the alleged abuse against the three sisters came to light in 2008, principal Malka Leifer was stood down by the Adass Israel school which facilitated her immediate departure to Israel.
Although Australian authorities have been trying to extradite her for several years Malka Leifer convinced the Israeli courts she was too mentally unwell to face a hearing.
That prompted an undercover operation to prove her mental fitness which recently resulted in Malka Leifer’s return to jail.
For Dassi and her two sisters — Nicole and Elly — justice finally seems closer than ever before.
Catch up | Watch ‘The Justice Principle’ part 1 on ABC News Youtube
ABC News article | ‘This is a sham’: The undercover operation to bring alleged paedophile principal to justice
Support information | 1800 Respect National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence counselling service – www.1800respect.org.au 1800 737 732
ABC News feature | Inside the insular Jewish community where school headmistress alleged preyed on girls
Producer profile | A brief bio about the producer of The Justice Principle, Belinda Hawkins
INTTRODUCTION,TED BAILLIEU: Hi, I’m Ted Baillieu, former premier of Victoria. Tonight, we continue the dramatic story of Dassi Erlich and her sisters and their long battle to bring their former principal to justice.
For the past decade, Dassi, Nicole and Elly have been seeking extradition for Malka Leifer from Israel to face allegations of abuse. Now, Israeli undercover surveillance has brought them one step closer to their goal. But first, a recap.
DASSI ERLICH: We grew up in Melbourne, in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, called Adass.
ELLY SAPPER, YOUNGEST SISTER: It’s not like the wider Jewish community. It’s very insulated, very close You don’t have TV. You don’t have internet.
NICOLE MEYER, OLDER SISTER: My sisters and I went to the Adass school/the most religious, strictly orthodox school in Melbourne.
DASSI ERLICH: When I was in year 8 Malka Leifer became the new principal.
SHARON SWIATLO, FORMER ADASS ISRAEL SCHOOL TEACHER: She was a woman who exuded confidence She was well liked. One of the girls was always doing this for Mrs Leifer or that for Mrs Leifer.
ELLY SAPPER: We were all hearing, “This is good for you. What I’m doing is helping you and I’m giving you love.”
DASSI ERLICH: I had no words to describe what was happening or absolutely any understanding of how it wasn’t right.
NICOLE MEYER: In 2008, Dassi somehow let out to a social worker/therapist, that Malka Leifer had abused her.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.