Israeli court scraps Leifer's house arrest

An Israeli judge has ruled Malka Leifer (C) poses a flight risk and should remain behind bars.
An Israeli judge has ruled Malka Leifer (C) poses a flight risk and should remain behind bars.

Israel's Supreme Court has overturned a lower court order releasing a former Melbourne school principal accused of sexual abuse from prison to house arrest.

Malka Leifer poses a flight risk and should remain behind bars until extradition proceedings conclude, Justice Anat Baron ruled on Thursday.

The judge found in favour of prosecutors' appeal against the Jerusalem District Court's October 2 order.

Leifer faces extradition to Australia on 74 charges of sexually assaulting female students during her time at Melbourne's ultra-orthodox Adass Israel school.

The 52-year-old fled to Israel in 2008 after the allegations first emerged and the process to extradite her has stalled several times since charges were laid in 2013.

Victim supporter Manny Waks welcomed Justice Baron's decision.

"I have always maintained that Leifer belongs in prison until she faces the extradition hearing and is ultimately extradited back to Australia to face justice," he said in a statement on Friday.

Earlier this month Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reiterate his view that Leifer must be extradited.

And federal Attorney-General Christian Porter has said he will travel to Israel in the coming months to raise the matter "personally and directly" with his counterpart.

Australian Associated Press