Thursday, June 26, 2008

Murdered Dentist's Daughter to Visit Jailed Mother

Mother Held in Rikers Since Being Charged

By Conor Greene

The woman accused of having her ex-husband murdered will be allowed to have her daughter, who witnessed the shooting, visit her while she sits in jail awaiting trial, a judge decided last week.

Michelle Malakov, whose father Daniel was shot in broad daylight at Annadale Playground last October, will reportedly be allowed to visit her mother, Mazoltuv Borukhova, who sits in a cell in Rikers Island waiting for her trial to begin this fall.

Queens Family Court Judge Linda Tally had denied a similar request after Borukhova was arrested in February in connection with the shooting, instead allowing weekly 15-minute phone calls between the mother and daughter. The judge will now allow the girl to visit her mother, but it is not known how often the visits will take place. Michelle was initially placed in foster care after her father was murdered, and has been living with her paternal uncle, Gavril Malakov, for the past three months.

Borukhova was charged with paying her uncle by marriage, Mikhail Mallayev, $19,800 to shoot her ex-husband, who had just won custody of then four-year-old Michelle. Daniel Malakov was shot three times in the chest on a Sunday morning as he was dropping the girl off to visit her mother. Police arrested Mallayev after matching his fingerprints to a homemade silencer found at the scene.

The murder came after a bitter custody battle, and Borukhova insisted to investigators that she did not see the gunman. Police connected her to the murder after discovering that she had exchanged nearly 100 telephone calls with Mallayev, 50, of Georgia, in the weeks leading up to the shooting. Authorities alleged that Mallayev deposited the money into several different accounts in his name at banks throughout the city the day after murdering Malakov.

Both suspects have been held without bail since their arrests and are due back in Queens Criminal Court on September 3, when their attorneys are expected to argue various motions regarding evidence investigators have collected. Among that evidence is wiretapped conversations the defense will likely seek to have suppressed.

Throughout the process, members of both families have attended most of the court hearings, sitting on either side of the courtroom, separated by court officers. The two sides have exchanged stares, threatening hand motions and insults spoken in Russian.

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