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First of three accusers gives evidence against Malka Leifer

The hearing is set to run all week and into next. Ms Leifer’s barrister, Ian Hill, QC, said he was “mildly confident” the hearing would finish next Monday.

But Ms Leifer and all Jewish witnesses have been excused from watching the hearing on Thursday because of the Yom Kippur holy day. Mr Hill said his client was keen to mark the day and content for her legal team to continue without her.

A psychologist, two Adass teachers and a person in Israel are among the witnesses who will be called later this week, when the court will be open to media and other parties.

Ms Leifer faces 74 charges comprising 11 counts of rape, 47 of indecent assault, three of sexual penetration of a child and 13 of committing an indecent act with a child.

Charge sheets allege Ms Leifer committed offences in Elsternwick, Elwood, Frankston and Emerald and in the regional towns of Blampied and Rawson.

She left Australia for Israel in 2008 when allegations against her emerged. She was charged in 2012 and extradition hearings began in 2014, but she was not extradited to Australia until the start of this year.

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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