Controversial Coroner Wins Legal Battle With State Prosecutor’s Office

Dr. Maya Forman-Resnick, who accused prosecutors and state coroner's office of falsifying pathology reports to gain murder convictions, wins right to work for coroner's office, as well as compensation.

Revital Hovel
Ronny Linder
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Roman Zadorov, right, at his murder trial.
Roman Zadorov, right, at his murder trial.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Revital Hovel
Ronny Linder

A controversial forensic pathologist has won her legal battle against the State Prosecutor’s Office after opposing it in a major murder case and accusing it and the state Institute of Forensic Medicine – on prime-time TV – of falsifying forensic reports to gain murder convictions.

Dr. Maya Forman-Resnick, who sued in Tel Aviv District Labor Court to take up the position offered her at the forensic institute, reached an agreement whereby the State Prosecutor’s Office, which had blocked her from taking the job, will pay her 27,000 ($6,820) in compensation for delaying her assumption of the post, state prosecutors informed the court late last week.

The prosecutor’s office also withdrew its opposition to Forman-Resnick’s employment in the forensic institute (known as “Abu Kabir” for the Tel Aviv neighborhood where it is located). Forman-Resnick recently took up the position after Labor Court Judge Idit Itzcovich ruled that she was entitled to go to work immediately.

In June 2013 Forman-Reznick testified on behalf of Roman Zadorov in his trial for the 2010 murder of a 13-year-old girl, Tair Rada, at a school in the Golan Heights. At the time she was working in a private institute established by Dr. Chen Kugel, who today heads the Institute of Forensic Medicine.Forman-Resnick’s opinion that one of the cuts that killed Rada was caused by a serrated knife, as opposed to the prosecutor’s opinion, caused retired Supreme Court Justice Edna Arbel to send the case back to the District Court.

A month before the second ruling in the District Court, Forman-Reznick was hired to work as the director of a unit for pathological forensic medicine at the institute. But after Zadorov’s second conviction in February, the prosecution torpedoed her employment.

The prosecution had conditioned her employment on her not writing an opinion for the court until there was a decision regarding Zadorov in his appeal to the Supreme Court, at which time her employment would be reexamined.

But she refused and turned to the Labor Court, which ruled that the restrictions were unreasonable and demanded that the sides reach a compromise on the sum of compensation for the months when she didn’t work.

“The demand to deal only with issues that don’t require giving an opinion is designed to empty the position of content,” ruled the court. Zadorov’s appeal of his murder conviction is pending and awaiting publication of the decision.

Forman-Reznick is also at the center of an internal probe of State Prosecutor’s Office, as a result of an interview she gave to the investigative program “Uvda” (“Fact”) in December.

She claimed that the work method in the Institute of Forensic Medicine includes changing scientific data and doctoring reports in favor of the prosecution, in order to obtain convictions in criminal cases.