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Court orders Zadorov release to house arrest pending retrial

CM 03/08/2021

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The Nazareth District Court on Tuesday issued a dramatic decision to release Roman Zadorov to house arrest pending a retrial for his conviction for the 2006 murder of eighth-grader Tair Rada.Zadarov is expected to remain in jail pending an expected appeal by the state prosecution, though the prosecution said it would take some time to decide its next steps.
In addition, Zadarov, if released, will have electronic monitoring on his person, will have multiple court-approved minders and will only be allowed out of his house with express specific court approval.

Zadorov is expected to remain in jail pending an expected appeal by the state prosecution
Still, the decision is the first sign that this round – there have already been multiple retrials of the case all leading to confirming the original conviction – might lead to Zadorov eventually obtaining an acquittal and his freedom after years behind bars.
New evidence emerged earlier this year leading the Supreme Court to order an additional retrial.
But that does not mean an acquittal is inevitable.
In 2016, the Supreme Court rejected one of Zadorov’s multiple appeals after ordering a different retrial.
However, already in 2016, Justice Yoram Danziger dissented from the conviction and others expressed skepticism about the state prosecution’s case.
In December 2006, Rada was found stabbed to death in a bathroom stall at the Nofei Golan school in Katzrin on the Golan Heights.
Zadorov, the school custodian, was arrested less than a week later and was found guilty of 13-year-old Rada’s murder in September 2010.
The case captivated the Israeli media and public – a tragic small-town murder that from the beginning was dogged by rumors, including that local teenagers had killed Rada and the town or teachers had covered this up finding an easy fall guy in Zadorov, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. On Tuesday, the Nazareth District Court blasted the prosecution for not realizing that the new evidence in the case has severely eroded from the new developments.
While the prosecution doubled down and said there was no basis to release Zadorov since there was no way he would be acquitted in the retrial, the court implied the prosecution is in denial regarding a case which is cratering.
In addition, the court said, without reaching a verdict on the trial evidence, that because Zadorov has been in prison already for 15 years, there should be a presumption of allowing him to go to house arrest until a new verdict comes down.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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