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Prosecution to appeal release of Zadorov to house arrest

CM 18/08/2021

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The state prosecution told the Nazareth District Court on Wednesday that it will try to appeal the release to house arrest of Roman Zadorov pending a retrial for his conviction for the 2006 murder of eighth grader Tair Rada.
Accordingly, the prosecution requested the district court grant it a 48-hour postponement of Zadorov’s release for it to have time to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The court granted the prosecution’s 48-hour reprieve to file an appeal.

On August 3, the same Nazareth District Court issued its dramatic decision to release Zadorov to house arrest pending a retrial.
At the time, the state said it would take its full two weeks to decide whether to appeal, especially after the court pressured it to drop the case entirely.
tair rada 298.88 (credit: Channel 2)tair rada 298.88 (credit: Channel 2)
However, in the end, the state doubled down and said it still believes Zadorov is the murderer and that releasing him would be dangerous, and it is willing to go over the district court’s head to try to keep him in custody until it can obtain a new conviction.
If released, Zadorov would have electronic monitoring on his body, would have multiple court-approved minders and would be allowed out of his house only with express specific court approval.
Still, the August 3 decision was 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.
Despite the district court’s pressure on the prosecution to drop the case, a different panel of district court judges is due to hear the retrial, which could come out differently – especially if the Supreme Court takes the prosecution’s side on the question of being released to house arrest.
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 which from the beginning was dogged by rumors, including that local teenagers had killed Rada, and that the town, or that teachers, had covered this up, finding an easy fall guy in Zadorov, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union.
On August 3, the Nazareth District Court blasted the prosecution for not realizing that the old evidence in the case has been severely eroded by new developments and new evidence, in the court’s opinion. The new evidence indicates he is innocent despite having been in jail for years.
While the prosecution doubled down and said there is no basis to release Zadorov since there is no way he would be acquitted in the retrial, the court implied the prosecution is in denial regarding a case that is cratering.
In addition, the court said, without reaching a verdict on the trial evidence, 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 is handed down.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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