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Borukhova wins child visitation rights

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Although she was granted the right to see her daughter in jail, the incarcerated doctor who is accused of having her estranged husband killed in a Forest Hills playground lashed out against her in-laws in Family Court last week for having custody of the girl.

Family Court Judge Linda Tally approved a motion June 18 that gives Mazoltuv Borukhova the right to see her 5-year-old daughter, Michelle Malakov at Rikers Island.

Borukhova, 34, had not seen the girl since she was arrested in February on charges that she allegedly planned the murder of Michelle's dentist father, Dr. Daniel Malakov, following a bitter custody dispute.

"The point of this proceeding is do what is best for Michelle, not what is best for the mother or the paternal relatives or anyone else," Tally told the court room, which included Borukhova, her sister and mother and Malakov's parents and brother Gavriel Malakov, all of whom are Uzbek immigrants.

The specifics of how those visitations would be conducted and when they will start will be decided at a later date, according to the city's Administration for Children's Services. Before last week's ruling, Michelle, who is living with Gavriel Malakov at his Forest Hills residence, was only allowed to communicate with her mother through 15-minute weekly phone calls.

The girl was being dropped off at the Annadale Playground on Yellowstone Boulevard and 64th Avenue on Oct. 28 by Daniel Malakov, 34, when he was shot twice in the chest by a gunman. Prosecutors claim Borukhova hired her distant uncle, Mikhail Mallayev, 50, to kill her estranged husband in revenge for getting custody of Michelle days before the shooting.

Mallayev was arrested in November and later indicted with the girl's mother on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy. Their trial is set to begin later this year and, if convicted, both face up to life in prison without parole.

Despite getting the Family Court judge's approval, Borukhova and her family expressed outrage over the fact that the girl was not living with them. Her attorney, Florence Fass, accused Gavriel Malakov of negatively affecting Michelle's well-being and cited the fact that he had her hair cut as an example of his bad parenting.

"In a report by the child's therapist, there was a comment by the paternal grandmother that said she could not bear to look at Michelle because she looked like Mazoltuv," Fass said.

An attorney for the ACS said the girl asked for the hair cut, but Borukhova, who had long, unkempt hair at the hearing, shouted at the lawyer, claiming he was lying.

Judge Tally dismissed the accusations and ordered Fass not to be "adversarial" toward the Malakovs.

"The court does not want to hear that [Michelle] is caught in a compromise," the judge said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 6:40 pm, October 10, 2011
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