Israeli principal on trial in Australia in child sex abuse

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A former principal at a Jewish girls’ school in the Australian city of Melbourne will go on trial Wednesday on 29 charges of child sex abuse.

Malka Leifer, a 56-year-old Israeli citizen, has pleaded not guilty in the Victoria state County Court of the alleged offenses at the Adass Israel School, at her Melbourne home and at school camps in the rural towns of Blampied and Rawson between 2003 and 2007.

Charge details released by the court Tuesday did not include the number of alleged victims.

A jury was empaneled on Tuesday and the trial is scheduled to take six weeks starting Wednesday.

Judge Mark Gamble on Tuesday imposed a gag order, known in several countries including Australia as a suppression order, that restricts aspects of media reporting of the case. Details of those restrictions cannot be reported.

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