Forest Hills mom’s murder-for-hire conviction upheld

TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Nearly four years to the day that Daniel Malakov was gunned down in front of his daughter at a Forest Hills playground, a state appellate court upheld the murder convictions of his estranged wife and her relative in his death.

The four-judge panel of the state Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department unanimously denied Mazoltuv Borukhova’s appeal for the 2009 first-degree murder and conspiracy convictions that were delivered to her and her distant uncle, Mikhail Mallayev, because the court said the evidence against them was “overwhelmi­ng.”

Borukhova, 37, who like Malakov is an Uzbek immigrant, 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 appellate judges, however, found that the extra time for the prosecution did not make a difference in the jury’s decision.

“The record ... amply demonstrates that despite the alleged lack of adequate preparation time, the defendant’s attorney ... delivered a highly effective summation in which he highlighted the lack of direct evidence of the defendant’s involvement in the murder, and attempted to persuade the jury that there were reasonable, innocent explanations for the conduct which provided circumstantial evidence of her guilt,” they wrote in their Oct. 25 decision.

Malakov’s parents called the decision 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 then-4-year-old daughter Michelle to the Annadale Playground to meet Borukhova, 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 and two weeks ago a Queens Family Court judge relinquished Borukhova’s parental rights.

“Borukhova will never see Michelle,” Malka Malakov said.

The prosecution’s closing arguments had been postponed from Friday March 6, 2009 to March 9, 2009 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.

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 Thursday.

Dershowitz’s office did not return phone calls for comment, but told Reuters that 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.

Both Borukhova and Mallayev are serving life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 12:49 pm, October 31, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reader feedback

lawyer from brooklyn says:
the justice system is dysfunctional and appaling.
Nov. 1, 2011, 4:33 pm
Tuvia from Queens says:
Very much so...
Nov. 2, 2011, 8:51 pm
Regina from Rego park says:
I'm glad that she got what she deserved....
Nov. 3, 2011, 1:27 pm
Michael from Forest hills says:
Так и надо этим дуракам.
Nov. 3, 2011, 10 pm
Miri from Forest hills queens says:
Only a heartless person can act the way she did ! And she calls herself "religious" I spit on ppl like that! I'm glad she's in jail may she never see daylight !
Nov. 14, 2011, 5:47 am
Louise from Astoria Queens says:
Read the book "Iphigenia in Forest Hills" by the great journalist Janet Malcolm - you will be absolutely chilled by the extent to which evidence was either missing or misrepresented and how biased the judge was. It's astounding that the court could get away with allowing the treatment that Borukhova (and her very young daughter) received. It's shocking that this case could unfold here in this country as it did. Seriously. If it could happen to her it could happen to anyone. Scary.
July 25, 2012, 1:42 pm
Lydia from Boston, Massachusetts says:
Maybe something wrong with her had, she Ned's a professional help...,feel sorry for daughter and fathers family...
Sept. 18, 2015, 7:50 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.


Do you know an immigrant in Queens who has made an impact on the community? Nominate a person who has made a difference for the 2018 Queens Ambassador Awards.
Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!