Judge Extends Remand of Suspect in Teen Murder, Says Evidence Mounting

Acre Magistrates Court also lifts gag on details of probe in murder of Tair Rada at Katzrin school in December.

Acre Magistrates Court on Monday extended by three days the remand of the prime suspect in the murder of a teenager in northern Israel, saying that the suspect's statements to police and DNA found at the scene added to the evidence against him.

Judge Ziad Salach also granted the defense attorney's petition to lift the media gag on the case, despite a police request to the contrary.

Roman Zadorov, 29, was arrested in December on suspicion of murdering 13-year-old Tair Rada, whose body was found two weeks earlier in the bathroom of the Nofei Golan High School in Katzrin.

Judge Salach ruled that, after reading a case summary and hearing testimony from the defense and prosecution, he believed there was evidence connecting Zadorov to the murder.

Salach said that footprints found on the victim's clothes have "been firmly linked to Zadorov." He also cited other evidence, including a crime scene reconstruction and clues found at the site.

The police have evidence, including DNA samples and hair found at the scene, which are currently being analyzed in the U.S.A. Police say that further items of interest have been discovered in a dumpster and are also being analyzed.

Police told the court Monday that their investigation is now complete and they are waiting for the results of the DNA test. The court was also told that the state prosecutor intends to issue an indictment against Zadorov. The police representative noted, however, that no motive has yet been determined for Rada's murder.

Zadorov's attorney, David Spiegel, argued that he remains convinced of his client's innocence. He said that Zadorov had told him that until he attended the reconstruction, he had never been at the crime scene.

Spiegel cross-examined the police representative about two eyewitness accounts of the events surrounding the murder. One witness reportedly saw a girl entering the lavatories and recalled hearing a child's voice from the cubicle adjacent to the one in which Rada's body was found. A second witness claimed to have seen a blood stain on a mirror in the bathroom.

Police said that both eyewitnesses were questioned, but that they were unaware of reports that a boy had been seen fleeing the scene.