Girl’S 2006 Murder Case: Immigrant acquitted in girl’s 2006 murder that riveted Israel

JERUSALEM: An Israeli court on Thursday acquitted a former floor tiler of the murder of a schoolgirl in a case that riveted the country for more than a decade, stirring cover-up and conspiracy theories and drawing comparisons to the TV mystery “Twin Peaks”.
The reversal of fortunes for Roman Zdorov also touched a nerve among Israelis divided over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s graft trial – in which he has denies wrongdoing and cast as a political witch-hunt – and his judicial overhaul plan.
Zdorov, a Ukrainian immigrant with poor Hebrew, argued he had been coerced into confessing to slashing the throat of 13-year-old Tair Rada in a bathroom stall of her school in 2006. He was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to life in prison.
“The truth has prevailed,” Zdorov said through tears outside Nazareth District Court after it overturned his conviction, finding that the state had not proven its case against him.
A crowd of supporters clapped and cheered.
Rada’s mother, Ilana, accused authorities of having failed her. “I’ll find the murderers,” she said.
Asked on the pro-government Channel 14 TV for her position on Netanyahu’s proposed reforms, she said: “I think that these reforms need to be carried out – but not for just one person, rather, for us, the citizens of Israel.”
“Prosecutors, police and a big part of the courts in Israel must, must, must undergo change. This is not how to run trials.”
Critics fear Netanyahu seeks to curb the independence of the courts. He says his aim is a balance among branches of government.
In Zdorov’s original conviction after a four-year trial, the court found he had killed Rada in a rage at having been mocked by her for his foreign background. Some of his supporters argued that such discrimination also tainted his investigation.
Zdorov’s lawyers said he had been duped by police and a jailhouse informant into confessing to and re-enacting the murder. They also cast doubt about the forensic examination of the knife used against her and a shoeprint found at the scene.
Prosecutors said they might appeal the acquittal at the Supreme Court, which in 2021 freed Zdorov and ordered a retrial.
Zdorov’s legal campaign was tracked by documentarians and boosted by burgeoning social media – and the conspiracists who frequent it. One theory sought to shift suspicion to a former schoolgirl who had left the country.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *