The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Roman Zadorov, who was previously convicted for the 2006 murder of 13-year-old Tair Rada, will be released to house arrest with restrictions until the end of his retrial.
The 44-year-old will be affixed with electronic monitoring and will be placed under heavy supervision. His bail has been set at NIS 150,000.
The Nazareth District Court ordered Zadorov's release earlier this month, a move which the State Prosector's Office appealed.
Nazareth District Judge Arafat Taha wrote in his ruling that: “It was not the petitioner who had to prove that he deserved release, but the state had to show that there were special circumstances that justified continuing his detention behind bars despite the time that has passed. The state did not meet this criterion.”
The Supreme decided in its ruling to throw out the appeal.
The Supreme Court on May 11, 2021, ordered a retrial for Roman Zadorov. In his final ruling as a Supreme Court justice, Hanan Melcer said that based on the evidence presented by his attorneys, there was sufficient reasonable doubt to exonerate Zadorov.
The Nazareth District Court first convicted Zadorov of the murder in September 2010, a decision he appealed a month later.
The court rejected the appeal in February 2014 and unanimously convicted him once again. He then appealed to the Supreme Court, which convicted him for the third time.
On December 23, 2015, the Supreme Court denied Zadorov's appeal by a 2 to 1 decision of a panel of three justices, seemingly putting an end to the saga that captivated public and media interest for years.
A dissenting opinion accepted Zadorov’s appeal and ruled that the evidence against him raised too many questions.
Zadorov's team immediately asked for a new hearing by an expanded panel.
Zadorov was charged with the murder of Rada, an eighth-grade student whose body was found in a bathroom stall in her school in the town of Katzrin in the Golan Heights with fatal stabbing wounds. According to a police report, the murderer locked the stall from the inside following the murder and climbed out over the door.
Zadorov, an immigrant from Ukraine, had been working as a floorer at the school. He was arrested and charged for the murder even though no conclusive evidence was found against him. According to the indictment, Zadorov changed his clothes following the murder, cleaned the blood and replaced his knife’s blade.
Pieces of evidence presented over the years have cast doubt on whether Zadorov was the murderer. The most notable example is a report that the murder was committed using a serrated knife, while Zadorov had admitted to using a utility knife.
Ilana Rada, Tair’s mother, still doubts that Zadorov committed the murder, and many Israelis believe that authorities arrested the wrong man and that the real murderer remains at .