Supreme Court justice orders hearing in possible retrial for Roman Zadorov

Justice Hanan Melcer summons defense, prosecution in request for retrial in case of man convicted of murder of 13-year-old girl.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Zadorov participates in hearing by video
Zadorov participates in hearing by video
Hezki Baruch

Supreme Court Deputy President Justice Hanan Melcer convened an urgent hearing Sunday on the request for a retrial in the case of Roman Zadorov.

Justice Melcer raised the issue of the "new evidence" presented by Zadorov in recent months - including an online lecture given by Chen Kugel, head of the State Forensic Institute, in which he referred to unidentified traces found at the murder scene. The prosecution argued before Melcer that Kugel had a conflict of interest in the case, and that they refused to agree to his involvement in the case in any way.

The judge asked the prosecutors' representatives: "If you oppose Dr. Kugel - is there a possibility that I can appoint someone as an expert from Israel or elsewhere in the world? When the prosecutor's office replied that this would be acceptable, Zadorov's attorney Yarom Halevy responded: "What, are you afraid of the head of the institute?"

Adv. Halevi said at the hearing: "AK is the killer." In response, Judge Melcer rebuked him and said: "Sir, be precise. Sir claims she's the killer. I know that only a court determines who is a murderer, after a criminal proceeding."

Later, Halevy also confronted the representative of the State Attorney's Office and shouted: "Do not interrupt me, do not interrupt me. The State Attorney's Office knows that he is innocent and you are holding him captive."

Zadorov's family and some of his supporters sitting in the hall cheered following Halevi's statement - and security guards intervened and stopped the applause. In response, the representative of the prosecution turned to the judge and said: "We ask the court not to give a hand to the circus that is happening here and in the media."

Judge Melcer announced that he was considering holding another hearing. "I will make a decision within a month of the completion of this hearing."

Zadorov was convicted for the 2006 murder of 13-year-old Tair Rada and sentenced to life in prison in 2010. He has maintained that he was framed and that the true murderer is a woman whose name has remained under a gag order because she suffers from mental illness.

The Supreme Court voted to uphold his conviction in 2015. However, Justice Melcer decided to hold an unusual hearing this week in response to Zadorov's request for a retrial and summoned the defense and the prosecution. Zadorov participated in the hearing by video.

Zadorov's wife said upon entering the Supreme Court, "We have lost confidence in the court and I want to restore that."

"Zadorov knows about the hearing and I hope justice will come from here. Either we are heading for a good start or a bad end," she added.