Police Hunt Underway for Murder Suspect Who Violated House Arrest Twice

Israeli man released to house arrest on Saturday, despite violating previous one, is suspected of fatally wounded his girlfriend, who died Saturday while in a coma

Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg
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Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv.
Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

A police hunt is underway for a man suspected of murdering his partner, after he violated the conditions of his house arrest for the second time.

Anastasia Kalin, 52, died on Saturday at Ichilov Hospital, where she had been hospitalized in September in critical condition after her boyfriend allegedly assaulted her during an argument that broke out between the two.

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Following the prosecution's request and the lack of evidence in the case, the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court last week ordered that Dmitry Tzignok be released under house arrest, but he was unable to secure guarantees for his release due to his financial situation.

On Saturday, the court agreed to release him under house arrest even though he could not present the necessary financial guarantees, and despite the fact that he had violated terms of the first house arrest only last week.

Tzignok may have been evicted from his apartment for failing to pay the rent, and when police locate him he will be brought in for a hearing on extending his detention for violating the conditions of house arrest.    

On Sunday, the court authorized the prosecution to perform an autopsy on Kalin's body to ascertain her cause her death: A stabbing with a sharp object, as police estimate, or a cut from a glass table that shattered when it fell on her – as Tzignok claims.

According to the version he gave the police, Kalin sustained the wounds when he had pushed her toward the table during an argument, and she fell on it. 

Kalin's death makes it difficult to formulate the murder case because she will not be able to give her version, sources in law enforcement told Haaretz, but an autopsy of her body can help determine the cause of death.

On September 5, Kalin, a Ukranian citizen without legal residency in Israel, filed a complaint that Tzignok had assaulted her and tried to rape her. She was afraid to seek medical treatment because of her lack of legal status in Israel, and only did so a week after the assault, by which time her condition worsened.

She was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, apparently due to an infection that developed in the area of the injury. Anesthetized and resuscitated, she fell into a coma soon thereafter. 

After some of Kalin’s friends went to the police for the second time, Tzignok was arrested on September 12.  His detention was extended several times, by various judges, and in one of the hearings, Judge Ala Masarwa said that in the investigation file there were "very difficult images" linking the suspect to the acts.

In another hearing, Judge Anat Yahav refused to release Tzignok because "this is a very serious incident that indicates danger."

Nonetheless, Tzignok was later released to house arrest on September 27, after some of Kalin's friends retracted their complaint and because the circumstances of Kalin’s injury could not be determined, according to a source in law enforcement. A source in law enforcement also told Haaretz that one of Kalin's friends from Ukraine, who later withdrew her complaint, is in Israel illegally.

But early last week, Tzignok was arrested again after he allegedly arrived to Ichilov dressed in an Israel Prison Service uniform, violating the terms of his house arrest. He fled when hospital security guards sought to detain him, and was arrested later at his home. At first, he denied having gone to the hospital but later admitted he was present but had no intention of violence.

On Tuesday, the court once again ordered his release to house arrest at the request of the police and the prosecution, although the police representative told the court that he still believed that Tzignok had gone to the hospital “to finish the job.” Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court Judge Noa Tavor granted the request, but added that it raised questions about the case.

Tzignok’s attorney Nir Alfasa said: “We express our deep sorrow over Anastasia’s death. Dmitry has given his detailed version of events regarding the suspicions. He denied the violence and was released without any steps taken against him. The prosecution did not rule out that he had come to the hospital out of concern for Anastasia’s condition.” 

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