Media suppression order in Leifer case granted
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‘High interest in case’

Media suppression order in Leifer case granted

A five-day committal hearing to weigh evidence for a trial has been set to begin on September 13.

Malka Leifer, as sketched in Melbourne Magistrates' Court. Image: Courtesy Nine
Malka Leifer, as sketched in Melbourne Magistrates' Court. Image: Courtesy Nine

A MAGISTRATE has imposed a nationwide media suppression order on medical information relating to Dassi Erlich, an alleged sexual abuse victim of former Adass Israel School principal Malka Leifer.

At an online special mention in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday, magistrate Johanna Metcalf ruled on an application made by Erlich for the suppression of her medical records.

The magistrate said the suppression order was justified due to “the nature of the information … sensitivity of it, in circumstances where there [are] allegations of sexual assault … this complainant [Erlich] has previously had proceedings in court before the Supreme Court where a finding was made, and she has indicated herself that she feels that the publication of these matters would be detrimental to her health and clearly there are some highly sensitive details contained in those records.

“I’m satisfied, due to the high interest in this case, that it’s appropriate to make an order that extends beyond Victoria,” she said, adding that the order would apply for the duration of the proceedings, including the relevant appeal period.

Metcalf also ruled that prosecutors hand over medical information from a civil case brought by Erlich in 2015, as well as a set of documents compiled “in a forensic capacity” that could determine Erlich’s credibility.

Leifer, who was extradited from Israel to Australia earlier this year, faces 74 charges relating to child sexual abuse allegedly committed between 2004-08, but claims she is innocent.

She did not appear at Monday’s online session. A five-day committal hearing to weigh evidence for a trial has been set to begin on September 13.

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