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The Forest Hills mother accused of ordering the murder of her estranged husband in front of their daughter will not only have access to the wiretaps that allegedly incriminated her in his shooting, but will also be asked to translate the dialogue for her defense her attorney said.
Queens Criminal Court Judge Robert Hanophy ordered prosecutors on April 23 to hand police recordings of Mazoltuv Borukhova to the accused woman's attorney so he could better prepare her pending murder case in the Oct. 28 death of Dr. Daniel Malakov. Although most of the taped conversations are in the Bukarian Jewish Uzbek immigrant's native Russian, attorney Stephen Scaring, who does not understand the language, said he would not have a problem interpreting the dialogue in his preparation of the case.
"We have been waiting to hear these tapes. My client will translate it," he told the TimesLedger Newspapers outside the court room.
Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal told the judge he had no problem with handing over the recorded conversations that were saved on 17 16-minute tapes, 35 90-minute tapes and seven CDs. Scaring asked the judge to review allegations that one of the tapes was stolen by a police officer related to Borukhova, but the prosecutor quickly dispelled that rumor.
"There is not a single tape that is not accounted for," Leventhal told the judge.
The ADA said his office has translated the conversations with its own translator and he would turn over those interpreted transcripts to Scaring at a later date.
Prosecutors claim Borukhova, 34, hired her distant uncle, Mikhail Mallayev, 50, of DeKalb, Ga., to kill Malakov, 34, to regain custody of her 5-year-old daughter Michelle. Days after the Queens Family Court gave custody of the girl to Malakov, also an Uzbek immigrant, he was shot twice in the chest outside the Annadale Playground on 64th Road and Yellowstone Boulevard as he dropped off Michelle to visit Borukhova.
The girl was placed in the care of the city's Administration for Children's Services following Malakov's murder, but her law guardian, David Schnall said Michelle recently was placed in the care of her uncle, Joseph Malakov. Although ACS asked Joseph Malakov to be the girl's foster guardian, Schnall said the family hopes to have permanent custody in the near future.
"I can tell you that she's adjusted very well with her family and has gotten along well with her cousins," Schnall said.
In November, police arrested Mallayev at his Georgia home after police forensic experts matched his prints, on file from a 1994 Manhattan arrest, to prints that were found on a makeshift silencer left at the playground by the shooter. Mallayev unsuccessfully fought extradition to Queens for two months and was indicted on murder charges.
In February, police arrested Borukhova and indicted her on first-degree murder and conspiracy charges after they found a evidence that connected her to the shooting. She and her uncle exchanged more than 90 phone calls in the weeks leading up to the murder, but only two following it, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Investigators said they also discovered that Mallayev deposited $19,800 into accounts in a Brooklyn bank a week after the shooting. Both suspects face up to life in prison without parole if convicted.
Borukhova and Mallayev were expected to return to court on May 20 and face the judge together for the first time. Hanophy said he would like to begin their criminal trial in October.
Borukhova's older sister, Natella Natanova, was arrested and indicted on charges of witness intimidation in March. Natanova allegedly threatened to kill Malakov's brother, Gavriel, on the streets of Forest Hills if he did not keep quiet during her family members' trial.
She was expected back in court for a conference on May 28, according to the Queens DA's office.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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