New Testimonies in Murder Case Point to Prolonged Abuse by Israeli Suspect

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Anastasia Klein and Dimitry Tzignok.
Anastasia Klein and Dimitry Tzignok.
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

A Tel Aviv court ordered Dimitry Tzignok, who is suspected of murdering his partner Anastasia Kalin, to be held in custody for another five days on Thursday, after several witnesses testified her death had followed a long period of abuse.

A friend of Kalin’s testified that Tzignok had violently abused her for a long time, confirming the testimony of another friend whom Kalin lived with after she had earlier been attacked.

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Police told the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court that the evidence shows Tzignok intentionally injured his partner as part of a pattern of violence, “and not just at the time of the incident.” The judge said there were legal and evidentiary developments in the investigation and it was in “the final stretch.”

Kalin, 52, who died over the weekend from her injuries, was hospitalized in serious condition last month at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital after Tzignok allegedly assaulted her. Tzignok was arrested when Kalin was hospitalized and released to house arrest.

He was later rearrested after violating his house arrest by impersonating a prison guard and attempting to come to the hospital where Kalin was undergoing care, in what the police believed was an attempt to "finish the job." The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court granted the prosecution’s request for his conditional release, citing no solid evidence linking Tzignok to the violence that led to his partner’s injury at their home in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan.

He was arrested again at the beginning of the week on suspicion of murder and violating the terms of his house arrest again, a day after police began searching for him. Tzignok said he did not know he was being sought.

Police told the court on Thursday that Tzignok was taken to the scene of the crime and “pointed out with precision the circumstances of Anastasia’s being injured.” The court approved an autopsy on the body Wednesday, but the results have yet to be released.

Tzignok’s lawyer, Nir Alfasa from the Public Defender’s Office, said his client claims Kalin had an accident, and that he was not responsible for her injuries.

Police think she was stabbed with a sharp object. Tzignok claims she fell on a glass table and was cut when it smashed. He told police he had pushed Kalin during their fight and she was injured when she fell on the table.

The victim, a Ukrainian national who arrived in Israel in 2013 and overstayed her three-month tourist visa, filed a complaint against Tzignok on September 5. He was only arrested a week later when some of her friends complained to police. Tzignok’s detention had been extended several times, and he was eventually released to house arrest in late September.

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