SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Prosecutors dropped a murder charge against a woman who allegedly killed her Israeli husband due to “insufficient evidence” for a conviction.
Regina Veinstein, 44, allegedly killed Ronen Veinstein, burned his body and then scattered his remains on their country property near Byron Bay, a surfing mecca between Sydney and Brisbane.
The German-born Veinstein was in Lismore Local Court when prosecutors dropped the case on April 3n April 3, it was reported Monday. The case can be reopened if “new and compelling” evidence comes to light, a prosecution spokesperson said.
Ronen Veinstein, a father of three, was last seen by his wife in late 2004, but his disappearance was not reported until mid-2005. In September 2007, his wife was charged with murder. She pleaded not guilty.
During her committal hearing in 2008, several people — including the local rabbi, Mosheh Serebryanski — told the court that Veinstein had admitted to them that she had killed her husband. But her defense team said she was suffering severe depression and therefore any admissions were compromised.
Ronen Veinstein’s body has never been found in a search that included digging up the Veinsteins’ property.
“That’s the biggest tragedy,” Serebryanski told JTA. “It’s devastating. The bottom line is there’s someone missing and someone who’s spoken clearly about the details of it, to myself included. But there’s no hard evidence.”
Ami Tabakhoff, Ronen Veinstein’s business colleague who testified at the committal hearing, told the Australian Jewish News, “It’s quite appalling that my friend’s murder has not been put to justice. Not knowing where his body is doesn’t help us as friends and as Jews.”