Release to House Arrest of Israeli Being Retried Over Teen's Murder Delayed After Prosecution Says It Will Appeal

Adi Hashmonai
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Roman Zadorov, who was convicted in 2010 and is now being retried for the murder of 13-year-old Tair Rada.
Roman Zadorov, who was convicted in 2010 and is now being retried for the murder of 13-year-old Tair Rada.Credit: Emil Salman
Adi Hashmonai

The Nazareth District Court on Wednesday delayed releasing to house arrest Roman Zadorov, who was convicted in 2010 for the murder of 13-year-old Tair Rada, after the State Prosecutor’s Office said it planned to appeal the move.

The court held the hearing to determine the conditions for the release of Zadorov, who has been in prison since he was arrested for the crime in 2006 but is now being retried based on new evidence presented by his lawyers. 

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Prosecutors told the court that allowing Zadorov to return to “his natural environment” posed a danger, especially as he will be supervised by family members, two of whom are witnesses for the prosecution.

“This is a man who murdered a girl inside the walls of a school. Any alternative [to prison] must be hermetic,” said one member of the prosecution team.

Prosecutors were scheduled to file an amended indictment against Zadorov on Wednesday, but a day earlier asked the court for another month to complete its pre-indictment investigation.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Asher Kula said he would respond to the motion in the next few days. But he sharply criticized the prosecution’s behavior, saying the wording of the petition for a delay indicated that “a one-month delay may not be useful and in any case ... may delay the date of retrial opening for many, many months, and of course consent cannot be given.”

Zadorov’s wife, Olga, said in response to the prosecution’s announcement that she remained optimistic. “I believe that within a few days Roman will be home,” she said. His sister, Ksenia Abrams, said, “The prosecution proved again today that it’s doing everything it can to keep Roman behind bars and to avoid finding the truth.”

Yarom Halevi, his attorney, added: “The ultimate goal remains distant, and that is the acquittal of Roman Zadorov.”

Earlier this month Judge Taha Arafat ordered Zadorov’s release to house arrest until the completion of his retrial. He ruled after the state failed to prove that there were special circumstances to justify his remaining in prison pending the conclusion of Zadorov’s second trial.

Arafat conditioned house arrest on Zadorov’s wearing an electronic bracelet, being supervised 24 hours a day and being barred from leaving his home except with court permission, and then only if accompanied by an escort. In addition, Zadorov was required to post a personal bond of 150,000 shekels ($46,400), another 200,000 as a guarantee he will appear in court, as well pledging 500,000 shekels in personal assets or assets pledged in his name.

As well, each of the people supervising him while under house arrest had to sign guarantees of 150,000 shekels.

Zadorov has always denied he committed the brutal murder, and in May, his appeal for a new trial was accepted by Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melcer. Melcer said the testimony he had been shown held out the “serious potential of changing the trial outcome,” and ordered prosecutors to study the material to see if they agreed that it justified a retrial.

The main evidence against Zadarov is the heel of a shoe that was found at the murder scene that had Rada’s blood on it, but which does not belong to Zadorov. Last month, State Prosecutor Amit Aisman agreed to a retrial, saying he believed there was a reasonable chance of a repeat conviction.

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