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The Supreme Court yesterday acquitted Alexei Volkov for the third time of involvement in the 2006 death of his ex-wife.

Justice Asher Dan Grunis wrote that the police's questionable conduct in the case means the Tel Aviv District Court's ruling acquitting Volkov for the second time need not be overturned.

In January 2006, Yulia Volkov's badly bruised body was found in her Tel Aviv apartment.

Yesterday's ruling ended an extraordinary legal saga in which a murder suspect was twice - in June 2008 and April of last year - acquitted by a district court and once by the nation's highest court.

After the state prosecutor's second appeal, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Shlomo Timen ruled that police had been certain of Volkov's guilt and had therefore ignored any evidence implicating the woman's new boyfriend.

Grunis wrote in yesterday's ruling that although Volkov had confessed to murdering his ex-wife, experience shows such confessions are often later retracted.

Yona Hayer-Levy, the Tel Aviv public defender who accompanied the case from the beginning, told Haaretz yesterday, "I hope the impetus for filing an appeal against acquittal for the second time was of a substantive and not personal nature, but there are serious doubts that this is the case."