Mazoltuv Borukhova’s revenge plot to get back her daughter has not only put her and her distant uncle behind bars for the rest of their lives, but it may have cost her the chance to see her child ever again.
Last week, the state Appellate Court denied the Uzbek immigrants’ appeal for the 2009 first-degree murder and conspiracy convictions for the cold-blooded murder of Borukhova’s estranged husband, Daniel Malakov, in a Forest Hills playground. The decision came a week after a Queens Family Court judge took away the incarcerated mother’s parental rights over her daughter Michelle.
Borukhova hired O.J. Simpson attorney Alan Dershowitz to reverse the decision on the basis of various factors that took place during her seven-week trial, including the fact that the prosecution had an extra two days to prepare for their summations.
The four Appellate judges, however, stated in their Oct. 25 decision that the extra time for the prosecution did not make a difference in the jury’s decision.
Malakov’s parents called the ruling bittersweet.
“We are happy, but where is my son? Why did she do this to my son?” his mother Malka Malakov said.
On Oct. 28, 2007, Malakov, a Forest Hills orthodontist, was walking his Michelle, who was 4-years-old at the time, to the Annadale Playground to meet Borukhova, 37, who had just given up custody of the girl to her father.
The dentist was shot in the chest at point-blank range by Mallayev, 54, who fled the scene. Police arrested the shooter three weeks later at his home in suburban Atlanta after they matched his fingerprints on a makeshift silencer at the scene.
An eyewitness later identified him as the shooter in a lineup and during the trial.
Police arrested Borukhova three months after Mallayev was apprehended after they found that she made 91 phone calls to her distant uncle, who she denied knowing, and paid him nearly $20,000 in cash before the shooting.
Investigators said Borukhova wanted revenge against her estranged husband after the courts forced her to give up custody of Michelle.
The girl is currently living with her paternal uncle in Forest Hills. The Malakov family said Michelle will stop visiting her mother in prison since she has no legal right to be her parent.
“Borukhova will never see Michelle,” Malka Malakov said.
The prosecution’s closing arguments were postponed from Friday, March 6, 2009, to March 9, because Borukhova and Mallayev made arrangements with the judge to end the session before sundown in accordance with their religious beliefs.
Since Borukhova and Mallayev’s attorneys took all day and afternoon delivering their summations, Queens Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal had no time to deliver his closing statement and had to wait till Monday. A day later, the jury convicted the pair and they were sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The judges said that the defendants’ attorneys had delivered “highly effective” summations despite not having an extra two days to prepare. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown applauded the appellate court’s decision.
“The Appellate Division’s unanimous affirmance of the jury’s verdict and the trial court’s sentence of incarceration will hopefully bring a measure of closure to Dr. Malakov’s family,” he said in a statement that was released last Thursday.
Dershowitz’s office did not return phone calls for comment but told Reuters the case is not over, as it is mulling appealing the case to a higher court.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed that the court found a number of significant errors and determined they were harmless,” Nathan Dershowitz, who co-defended Borukhova with his brother, told Reuters.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2011 Community News Group
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