Defendant in 2006 slaying of Katzrin teen convicted

Roman Zadorov found guilty of murdering 13-year-old Tair Rada in bathroom of school where he worked as a repairman, sentenced to life imprisonment.

311_  Roman Zadorov  (photo credit: Channel 10 News)
311_ Roman Zadorov
(photo credit: Channel 10 News)
The Nazareth Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday issued a verdict in a case that shocked Israel four years ago, finding Roman Zadorov guilty of firstdegree murder for the brutal slaying of 13-year-old Tair Rada, found with her throat slit in a bathroom stall at the Nofey Hagolan school where she studied in the northern town of Katzrin.
Zadorov, a 32-year-old Ukrainian citizen married to an Israeli woman, was also found guilty of obstruction of justice.
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On Tuesday, judges ruled that the confession given by Zadorov shortly after his arrest was authentic and held up in court. In their ruling, the judges pointed to other incriminating evidence, including traces of Zadorov’s footprints found on Rada’s clothes and the fact that he knew a number of details only the killer would have known.
According to the letter of indictment, issued on December 6, 2006, Zadorov left the school cellar where he was laying a new floor, when he saw the victim standing on a stairwell that led to a bathroom.
The defendant followed her into the bathroom and as she tried to close the stall door, he pushed it open and slit her throat, before cutting her in the chest and arms. He then locked the bathroom from the inside and climbed over Rada’s body to a window from which he escaped the scene.
Presiding Judge Yitzhak Cohen said that Zadorov “lied and was manipulative in the courthouse.” Cohen spoke of the day of the killing, when “he followed the deceased, put his headphones underneath his shirt so they wouldn’t get dirty, and then, in cold blood slit the deceased’s throat, threw out the pants he was wearing, broke and discarded the blade of the knife he used in the murder, and cleaned his shoes and his wedding ring.”
Cohen also said that following closer examination, all alternative stories, such as those claiming that a satanic cult or hitchhikers were behind the murder were found to be baseless.
The evidence that led to Zadorov’s conviction largely dealt with his knowledge of specific details of the crime. For instance, he knew that Rada had not been sexually assaulted, what she was wearing and in which bathroom stall she was left. He also mentioned how the stall door could not be locked from the outside, forcing him to lock it from the inside and climb over the top.
Moreover, he knew that Rada had her throat slit and was not stabbed, and had told his wife that a girl had been harmed in the school bathroom hours before the news was released to the public.
Court documents also mentioned a number of statements made by Zadorov following his arrest, including one in which he said “I was sure that that they wouldn’t find her on the same day… if I had known who she was I wouldn’t have done it.” He also expressed his desire to tell his lawyer during the reenactment that he confesses “with a clean heart.”
Prosecutor Mirit Stern praised the verdict on Tuesday, saying that “all three judges made their words heard loud and clear,” adding that “we believe that this will put an end to the irresponsible rumors and speculation circulated by the media that have thrown sand in the eyes of the public.”
The statement was made in reference to a number of rumors that emerged over the case, including that local kids had carried out the murder, or that members of a “satanic cult” had taken part. Many people were reported to have believed that Zadorov was framed and that his trial was some sort of cover-up.
Zadorov’s wife Olga was defiant outside the courtroom on Tuesday, saying “this man is being jailed for no reason, he did nothing wrong. The timetable put forth by the court shows that he wasn’t at the school when the murder happened.”
Olga added that “the whole country is corrupt. Everyone here is one big gang, the prosecution, police, and courts, all working together.”
Zadorov’s attorney Galil Spiegel vowed Tuesday that the fight for her client’s freedom wasn’t over, saying “I believe in his innocence, this case should not have ended this way. We will carry this to the Supreme Court, this isn’t the end, it is only the beginning.”