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Social worker advised not to give statement on Malka Leifer, court hears

In November 2011, Ms Rabinowitz was contacted by a police officer from Victoria who asked if she would be willing to make a statement. The court was read part of Ms Rabinowitz’s email reply to the officer, in which she said she had been told two of the complainants had been trying to access a grant for victims of sexual assault.

“I’m not sure I want to go on record testifying,” she wrote on November 7, 2011. “I have been warned it is totally possible she can one day turn to me and decide to sue me too for speaking to the police. I guess I’m a bit suspect that when someone is in something for the possible pay-off then perhaps in the future they will think to get money from me as well if they could.”

In court on Thursday, Ms Rabinowitz said she could not remember who had told her the complainants were trying to access a victims-of-crime grant, but she confirmed she had been warned by her legal counsel not to go on the record because she could be pursued by the complainants for money in the future.

The court also heard Ms Rabinowitz wrote in a police statement in April this year that she had emails between her and one of the complainants that were “somewhat graphic and emotional” and were “full of her personal anguish”.

She said she had not been asked to provide those emails to police.

The hearing will resume on Thursday when five witnesses are due to give evidence, including Adass Israel teachers and a police investigator.

Ms Leifer 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.

With Adam Cooper

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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