Malka Leifer makes return to Melbourne, could face court this week

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Former school principal Malka Leifer is expected to arrive in Melbourne in the next 24 hours after being extradited from Israel.

Ms Leifer could face court as soon as this week with legal requirements meaning the accused paedophile must appear before a magistrate as soon as possible to be read the 74 charges against her of child sexual abuse.

The 54-year-old was taken from a women’s prison in the middle of the night and put on a plane at Tel Aviv’s airport just hours before it was shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Malka Leifer fled Melbourne more than a decade ago and will be returned in the coming days. (AP)

“The Israeli authorities were expected to ensure the secrecy of the transfer operation and to ensure maximum respect for Mrs Liefer’s dignity until she left Israeli jurisdiction,” Ms Leifer’s lawyer Nick Kaufman said.

“This clearly didn’t happen given the fact that photographs of her in handcuffs and legcuffs were leaked to the press.”

The former principal of the Adass Israel School in Elsternwick is understood to be flying via Frankfurt in Germany to another stopover in Singapore before arriving in Melbourne.

The 54-year-old will serve her mandatory quarantine in a women-only prison in Victoria.

She will be given a phone or laptop when she’s in isolation for her first appearance before a magistrate.

Once Ms Leifer completes her isolation period she has the right to apply for bail.