New Evidence Against Roman Zadorov: DNA and Footprints on Victim's Clothing

The state prosecution on Thursday is expected to charge Roman Zadorov with the stabbing murder of Katzrin teenager Tair Rada, who was found dead in the bathroom of her school in December.

At a hearing yesterday during which Zadorov's remand was extended by three days, Acre Magistrate's Court Judge Ziad Salah said there is a chain of evidence linking Zadorov to the murder, and acceded to the request of Zadorov's attorney to revoke the gag order on the case.

Police officials said they have DNA samples and biological evidence tying Zadorov to the murder. Some of the findings have yet to return from the laboratory, including hair samples that were sent to an American lab for testing. The root of the hair is apparently missing, which makes it difficult to reach precise conclusions.

Additional evidence revealed at the remand hearing included the existence of a footprint found on Rada's pants. Salah ruled that the footprints are likely tied to Zadorov.

Zadorov, a local subcontractor who was doing work on Rada's school at the time of her murder, has been held in custody as a prime suspect for several weeks. Yesterday's remand extension was his sixth consecutive one.

The case against Zadorov is based on his confession and his reenactment of the murder.

In addition, police said he was aware of details from the murder scene "that only whoever committed the murder could identify and recognize."

Police also said they found articles at a garbage removal site that were sent for tests, but that the results are not yet in. Yesterday they stopped searching the site for the pants Zadorov had been wearing on the day of the murder.

Police have no explanation for what Zadorov's motive might have been.

Zadorov's attorney, David Spigel, said yesterday that Zadorov denies the allegations against him.

"My client declares unequivocally and resolutely that he was not at the scene of the murder and that he saw the bathroom [in which Rada was found] for the first time at the reenactment," said Spigel.

Spigel also said that none of the evidence definitively proves his client was at the scene of the crime."We knew about the footprints from the first day already," he said. "It turns out that there is a likelihood that the footprint belongs to the suspect, but in criminal proceedings, there is no such thing as 'could be.' Zadorov's work shoes were bought from Ukraine. It's a different shoe from all the shoes in Israel. It's impossible to make a mistake - it has a unique sole and heel. There shouldn't be a likelihood about the shoes; it should be 'bingo.' The same goes for the hair. There's no such thing as a 90 percent likelihood."

After Zadorov is indicted, the defense will air its complaints regarding his confession. Spigel will argue that improper means were used to get his confession, and that the suspect told police several versions of the story. The fact that Zadorov has consistently maintained that he does not know where the knife is could weaken the weight of the reenactment.

Spigel accused the police of neglect in investigating the murder, saying they felt they had to stick to their public announcement they had the prime suspect.

"They didn't check for a motive, they didn't find a knife, they didn't find biological signs, the suspect himself pleaded on the first day of custody for them to search for his pants and they didn't do it," said Spigel. "They missed additional leads and missed the opportunity to investigate other suspects."

Police said in response to a question from Spigel that they were not familiar with testimony in which a girl stated she saw a boy run away from the murder scene.