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Court orders Zadorov released to house arrest pending retrial

CM 03/08/2021

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Nazareth District Court on Tuesday ruled in a dramatic decision to free convicted murderer Roman Zadorov to house arrest pending a retrial in the 2006 murder of eighth-grader Tair Rada at her school in Katzrin on the Golan Heights.
Zadorov will likely remain in jail pending an expected appeal by the state, although the prosecution said it would take time to consider its next steps.
If Zadorov is released, he will have to wear an electronic tag and will be closely monitored by court-approved minders. He will be allowed out of his home only if a court gives its specific approval.

The surprise decision is the first sign that this round – there have already been a number of additional hearings in the case following the original conviction all of which confirmed it – might lead to Zadorov eventually obtaining an acquittal and regaining his freedom after years behind bars.
New evidence emerged earlier this year that led the Supreme Court to order a retrial but that does not mean that an acquittal is inevitable. In 2016, the Supreme Court rejected one of Zadorov’s appeals after ordering a different retrial but Justice Yoram Danziger wrote a dissenting minority ruling against the conviction. Others expressed skepticism about the state’s case.
Rada was found stabbed to death in a toilet at the Nofei Golan school in Katzrin in 2006 and Zadorov, the school custodian, was arrested less than a week later and was found guilty of the 13-year-old’s murder in September 2010.
The case has captivated Israeli media and the public – a tragic small-town murder case that from the outset was dogged by rumors, including that local teenagers had killed Rada and the town, or teachers, had covered this up and allowed Zadorov, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union who spoke poor Hebrew, to become an easy fall guy.
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 High Court implied the prosecution is in denial regarding a case which is cratering. It added that without reaching a verdict on the trial evidence and because Zadorov has been in prison for 15 years, he should be allowed to be released to house arrest until a new verdict is handed down.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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