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Court rejects appeal: Zadorov to be released to house arrest pending retrial

CM 26/08/2021

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The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal filed by the State Attorney’s Office, and ordered the release of Roman Zadorov under house arrest on Thursday morning. Judge Alex Stein dismissed the appeal and allowed Zadorov’s release, some 15 years after he was arrested, convicted and sent to life in prison for the 2006 murder of the girl Tair Rada at a school in Katzrin.
Stein noted three cumulative conditions for house arrest, including wearing an electronic bracelet, and a ban on receiving visitors at the place of his detention except for first-degree family members. The judge further ruled that Zadorov must deposit his passport in order to prevent a possible exit from the country.
The prosecution demanded that Zadorov be detained behind bars during the retrial, claiming that he was dangerous and there were concerns of his escape. However, Stein rejected the claim: “The lack of violence on the part of the respondent during his long stay in prison and his proper conduct as an employee in the prison locksmith, are also acceptable and weighty evidence,” Stein explained. “And as has already been pointed out by me, this evidence reduces his dangerousness from a very high level to a medium to medium-high level. The trial court was therefore correct in its decision to transfer the respondent to arrest with an electronic bracelet outside prison.”

The Nazareth District Court decided earlier this month to release Zadorov under restrictive conditions while the retrial in his case takes place. Judge Arafat Taha, who is not one of the judges in the retrial, ruled that Zadorov would be released with an electronic bracelet and stay at his home around the clock. At his request and at the request of his wife Olga, Zadorov is expected to stay at her parents’ house in Katzrin, if he is released.
tair rada 298.88 (credit: Channel 2)tair rada 298.88 (credit: Channel 2)
In his decision, the judge wrote that “after 15 years in which the applicant was in prison and his conviction was revoked, the balance point has changed, and the emphasis today is on the applicant’s rights and protection in view of the imbalance set forth in the Detention Law regarding the length of the detention period, even in serious offenses, such as murder, rape and murder. The state almost ignored in its arguments the length of time the applicant has been in prison, and raised its claims as if this was the first hearing in his case.”
Taha concluded: “It was not the applicant who had to prove he was deserving of release, but the state that had to show that despite the passage of time, there were special circumstances that warranted his continued detention behind bars. The state did not meet that burden.”
Tair Rada was murdered inside a bathroom stall at the Nofei Golan School in Katzrin on December 6, 2006. Almost three years later, the Nazareth District Court convicted Roman Zadorov, a foreign citizen and resident of Katzrin, of murdering the girl. The verdict set aside a dense fabric of evidence that led to his conviction.
Since then, however, the affair has continued to occupy the media and public opinion, and despite the firm verdict – the justice system has discussed it several more times and left the conviction intact. Zadorov, who worked in flooring at Rada’s school, was arrested a few days after the murder, confessed to the murder and even repeated it. He then retracted his confession, and as the trial progressed the defense was able to raise doubts among the public that Zadorov was indeed the killer.
Subsequently, the defense presented two new opinions regarding the type of knife with which Rada was murdered as well as the marks that were on her pants. Following this, the Supreme Court ordered that the district court examine these opinions. According to the prosecution expert, there is nothing in these opinions, because it was the marks of the soles of Zadorov’s shoes.
The district court reviewed the opinion, and decided at the end of the day to uphold the conviction. However, Zadorov’s defense team appealed to the Supreme Court again and this time too Zadorov was convicted of murder – but this time the conviction was in the majority opinion. Justices Yitzhak Amit and Zvi Zilbertal convicted the defendant, while Judge Yoram Danziger acquitted him out of doubt.
A year ago, Zadorov filed another appeal to the Supreme Court. About two months ago, Chief Justice Hanan Meltzer ruled that Zadorov should have a retrial. The trial will begin in the first half of October, and will be held continuously for about a year before judges Asher Kola, Danny Tzarfati and Tamar Nissim Shai. Before that, in mid-September, a preparatory hearing for the trial will be held in the district court.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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