The chief judge of the Nazareth District Court, Judge Asher Kula, announced on Thursday the acquittal of Roman Zadorov, who was convicted three times for the murder of Tair Rada in her school in Qatzrin in the Golan Heights.
Zadorov burst into tears upon hearing the verdict. "We did it, I can't believe it," his son proclaimed.
Zadorov, a custodian at the school, was convicted for the 2006 murder and stood a requested retrial. Following two appeals and countless testimonies and evidence that were added to the case, Zadorov was released to house arrest last year, and today he was acquitted by a two-to-one majority. Judge Tamar Nissim-Shai was in the minority.
Tair's mother, Ilana Rada, said yesterday that she expected the court to acquit Zadorov.
Following the acquittal, Rada told the press: "Finally, Finally, we see that the prosecution is a criminal body in Israel. 16 years of lies, of cover-ups, 16 years that the prosecution murdered my daughter. You should know that the war has just begun. You saw all the lies, cover-ups, and disregard. A just and true trial was done here. The ruling has had its say. The next step is to find the murderer, and we know where to go."
Upon entering the courtroom, Judge Kula stated: "At the beginning of the announcement, as ordered by the legislator, we announce that we have decided, according to the majority opinion of Kola and Zarfati, against the opinion of Tamar Nissim-Shai, to acquit the defendant.
We are dealing with an unacceptably tragic incident. She (Tair) died in her school, which became a murder scene. As the days passed, the public interest in the case became more substantial, and we hope that now the feelings will be calmed," said the judge.
The judge explained the acquittal: "The new issues that were at the center of the reasoning of the retrial are what tipped the scale. There was no clear proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the evidence from the scene did not fit the defendant's confession."
On Wednesday, Rada told Reshet Bet, "This is the first time I'm seeing a will to find the truth. We won't know the truth, even from the current ruling, but at least we won't live a lie. I'm not certain this will fully give us peace of mind. I'm almost certain that Roman will be acquitted tomorrow,"
According to her, "I want to hear the judges' decisions regarding 'O.K.' and 'A.H.' (the additional suspects) I heard their testimonies behind closed doors. I don't know what to say, but it's important for me to hear what the judges have to say about one of them: 'A.H.' I feel that 'A.H.' fits the puzzle that I built, it's important to remember that his mitochondrial DNA was found at the scene."
The mother added: "You can't ignore Tair's life and say, 'She didn't have a life, she had nothing in her surroundings, nothing,' and when we discover other things regarding that day, the day that Tair was murdered, to say that someone murdered my daughter for no reason."
13-year-old Tair Rada was found murdered in the Nofei Golan school bathroom in 2006. Zadorov was convicted of her murder but claimed the entire time that he was innocent.
For years he fought for a retrial, during which several substantial testimonies that supported Zadorov's claim were heard.
In addition, a mitochondrial DNA test found that an additional hair that was found on the victim's lower body may belong to Adir Habani, the former partner of Ola Krechenko, who in the past claimed that she was the one who murdered the girl. Out of 18 hairs, 17 belonged to Tair, and one to Krechenko's partner.