Suspect in Murder of 13-year-old Tair Rada Retracts Confession

Wife of Roman Zadarov: Police pressured my husband to confess; suspect admits to history of violence.

The prime suspect in the murder of a teenager at a Golan Heights high school retracted his confession Wednesday, claiming he was under intense pressure to confess during his interrogation.

Katzrin resident Roman Zadorov, 29, confessed Tuesday to the murder of a 13-year-old Tair Rada, whose body was found two weeks ago in the bathroom of the Nofei Golan High School.

Nonetheless, Zadorov admitted Wednesday that he has had a history of violent outbursts in the past.

Zadorov's wife, Olga, said Wednesday that her husband "doesn't know to act violently," and that she is convinced he is innocent.

Speaking on Channel 2 television she said her husband linked himself to the murder because "police pressured him to confess."

Police believe Zadarov was seized by a fit of anger following an argument with Rada, and as a result murdered her. He said these spasms were similar to those he had suffered from in the past, which he had directed toward his family.

The suspect related the sequence of events to investigators Tuesday, but did not disclose his motives for the murder.

The investigation has also revealed that Zadorov is not an Israeli citizen. Zadarov is believed to have entered Israel as a tourist in 2002, and was employed on the basis of forged work permits. In 2005 he married an Israeli woman and applied for citizenship.

Zadarov will face an extension of his remand Thursday at the Acre Magistrate's Court.

Zadarov, who worked as a contractor at the school where Rada studied, was the third suspect to be arrested in the case. The other two suspects - a gardener and a homeless man - were released from police custody soon after detention due to lack of evidence.

The northern district police chief said Wednesday that the Rada case was "closed."

"We have plenty of material, partial confession and reconstruction of events, that unilaterally rule that Zadarov is the murderer," he said.

Katzrin residents gathered at the police station Tuesday evening to hear the results of the investigation, after Rada's parents, Shmuel and Ilana, were told of Zadarov's confession.

Zadarov's acquaintances said they found it hard to believe that he would have committed such a crime. Ronen Hazan, who owns a hardware store where Zadarov frequently visited, called Zadarov a good person.

"If it really is him ... I cannot believe it," he said.

Rada's body was found on December 6 in a bathroom stall in the Nofei Golan school, where she was enrolled as a student. Police initially believed Rada was murdered as a consequence of teen violence.