Text size

"You're a murderer!" the victim's father shouted Thursday as defendant Roman Zadorov finished his testimony.

Zadorov is charged with killing 13-year-old Ta'ir Rada at her school in the Golan Heights town of Katzrin in 2006. Shmuel Rada's outburst was prompted when Zadorov, at the end of his testimony, appealed directly to the bereaved parents.

"I wish to say something to the parents of the deceased: I did not murder Ta'ir," Zadorov declared. "I don't know who killed her. I'm not the kind of man who could kill a child."

Responding to reporters afterward, Rada charged: "He's a liar. They tell me to be patient, but how much can you stand? They took my child from me. No one can understand that."

Earlier, Zadorov burst into tears during his testimony. "I believed the police, because they told me there were facts that pointed to me as the murderer," he sobbed. "But in my heart, in my soul, something sits - that there was nothing unusual that day. It was an ordinary day. Because of that, I started to believe I had done it, that the black veil had affected me and I didn't remember exactly what I'd done."

During his testimony, Zadorov continued to insist that he learned everything he knew about the murder from police investigators.

"If they told me I'm okay, then I understood I had answered correctly," he said. "If I gave an inappropriate response to the interrogators' question, they told me, 'you need to think hard, don't hurry.' Then they'd continued to ask me the question and if I answered wrongly, they said I was lying to them, until I found the answer that suited the interrogators."

He said his reenactment of the murder had been similarly guided by the police.

Under questioning from the prosecution, however, he retracted a claim earlier made by his defense attorney, David Spiegel: that police had conducted invasive examinations of his sexual organs. Asked why he had let that claim pass without challenging it, Zadorov replied, "I wasn't paying attention. It could be that I missed it." Later, he said that Spiegel had been quoting him, but "it could be that I initially lied to him."