High court calls to reexamine murder of Tair Rada

Three years after man convicted for murder of eighth-grader, High Court of Justice urges Nazareth Court to re-examine evidence.

rada murder man 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 2 [file])
rada murder man 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 2 [file])
Almost three years after Roman Zadarov was found guilty in the murder of eighth-grader Tair Rada, the High Court of Justice on Monday ordered the Nazareth District Court to reexamine evidence in the case following an appeal by Zadarov’s lawyers.
The murder of Rada shocked the country in December 2006 when she was found stabbed to death in a bathroom stall at the Nofei Golan school in Katzrin in the Golan Heights after she had gone missing hours earlier.
Zadarov, the school custodian, was arrested less than a week later and was found guilty of Rada’s murder in September 2010. He was sentenced by the Nazareth court to life imprisonment plus two years for obstruction of justice.
The High Court on Monday said the evidence to be reexamined included a forensic expert’s opinion about bloody shoe prints found at the scene, and another expert’s analysis of the murder weapon and the injuries to Rada’s head.
The court said Zadarov’s conviction had been based on confessions he had made to interrogators, a police translator, a jailhouse informant and during a reenactment of the crime, which justices said “were found to contain lies, manipulations and fabrications.”
At the same time, the court said his confessions were backed up by evidence, including facts that Zadarov was able to point out about the crime scene, the positioning of Rada’s body and how she was killed.
Justice Edna Arbel pointed out that the decision was not a ruling that the conviction should be overturned.
Regardless of the decision, the verdict in the case will not be disturbed and Zadarov will keep serving his sentence until there is a court order otherwise.
Also, a court order to reexamine evidence does not suggest the likelihood of any court decision to actually reopen the verdict itself.
Rada’s parents, Ilana and Shmuel, became famous in Israel after the murder, with Ilana being outspoken in her doubts about Zadarov’s guilt, while Shmuel said he believed police had caught the right man.
The case captivated the Israeli media and public – a tragic small-town murder that from the beginning was dogged by rumors, including that local teenagers had killed Rada and the town or teachers had covered this up, finding an easy fall guy in Zadarov, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union.