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Why You Should Dig Two Graves Before Embarking On A Quest For Revenge . . .

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Enraged with the judge’s decision to award temporary custody of their 4-year-old daughter to her husband, Mazoltuv Borukhova decided to take matters into her own hands.

Daniel Malakov, 34, was gunned down at a playground in Forest Hills, Queens as he took his daughter, Michelle, to meet his estranged wife. Dr. Malakov had won custody of Michelle in a bitter court dispute with his wife, and this was supposed to have been a supervised visit.

Dr. Borukhova, 35, an internist, had done everything possible to poison Michelle against her husband, but the child still seemed happier with him. This coupled with her lack of faith in the court system, may have led her, to have him murdered.

Mikhail Mallayev, 51, (Borukhova’s distant relative), pumped three bullets, at close range, into Malakov as the dentist’s horrified daughter looked on.

The price to settle the caustic custody battle between her and her estranged husband, $20,000. Both Borukhova and her hired gunman have denied any involvement in the October 2007 killing. Yet police didn’t have far to look in determining a motive for Malakov’s murder.

Three days before the shooting, Borukhova had lost custody of Michelle during a court-ordered transfer. Distraught over losing her daughter, Borukhova threatened members of Malakov’s family. When her husband’s uncle, Erza Malakov’s, stated that he would help, and that his nephew, would allow her to see Michelle as part of the visitation agreement.

“I don’t need any help anymore. His days are numbered,” the uncle testified, Borukhova shouted. Everything is decided about him.”

Borukhova’s staunch denial about Malakov’s death began to unravel as she was being questioned by police. Detectives were shocked that although her husband was killed 10-15 feet from her, Borukhova claimed not to have heard the shots or seen the killer.

The EMT who had tried to save Dr. Malakov’s life painted an entirely different picture.

“He made noise, like a grunting sound, like he was taking his last breath,” said Susana Toriz, describing Malakov’s last moments to the jury. “He was pulseless. He was not breathing.”

Toriz concluded her testimony by stating that a blood drenched and unemotional Borukhova, identified herself as a doctor, and offered to help.

Although both Borukhova and Mallayev vehemently deny any involvement in Malakov’s killing, the evidence, the disparity in their stories, and the eyewitness testimony of school teacher Cheryl Springsteen, led to their respective convictions . . . Mallayev for the killing, and Borukhova for ordering it done.

The intriguing courtroom drama that was inundated with contentious moments, 2500 years of family history, and religious references of the Ten Commandments and Confucius came to an end on April 21, 2009, when Justice Robert Hanophy sentenced Borukhova and Mallyev to life in prison without parole.

Both were steadfast in their denials of non involvement in the murder of Dr. Malakov, because as they had mentioned several times during the trial, they were observant Jews and wouldn’t take part in any killing.

“I didn’t kill nobody in my life,” bellowed Mallayev.

“I live by the Ten Commandments,” he continued, accusing the judge and prosecutor of mocking his faith. “I feel comfortable with myself. I’m good in front of myself and in front of God.”

As she had done numerous times on the stand, Dr. Borukhova pleaded that she was innocent in the killing of her husband.

“I had nothing to do with this murder,” she said softly. “I didn’t kill anybody. I had nothing to with it. That’s all your honor.”

Justice Hanophy added his own twist in regards to religion:

“Mr. Mallayev, you took 20,000 pieces of silver to murder Dr. Malakov. “You say you’re a religious man. There’s a man in the New Testament who says, ‘What does it profits a man if he gain the whole world and loseth his soul?’”

He then turned his attention to Dr. Borukhova and said, “You set out on a journey for revenge because a judge had the temerity to give custody of your child to your husband.”

Justice Hanophy quoting Confucius said, “A person who sets out on a path of revenge should first dig two graves.” He continued by stating that although Dr. Borukhova’s husband was already interred, “you are about to enter your eight-by-eight above ground grave, where you will spend the rest of your natural life.”

“Your daughter,” he concluded, “is now without a father and for all practical purposes without a mother. What a legacy to leave to your daughter.”

Khaika (father) and Gabriel (brother) Malakov, who have custody of Michelle, said the family would turn its attention to raising her.

“I have an important responsibility,” Gabriel Malakov said, “beyond that, an ethical obligation to say nothing bad about the mother, nothing bad about anybody to Michelle.”

District Attorney, Richard A. Brown, said he hopes that the sentencing will bring closure to the tragic saga that has enveloped the close knit community of Bukharian Jews. The Queens neighborhood that is made up of family members from both sides has been divisive over the murder and the prosecution.

The prosecution had implied during the trial that other members of Dr. Boruhkova’s family had known of the plot to kill her husband. If that supposition is true, then Boruhkova’s family has only themselves to blame.

Perhaps this senseless tragedy could have been averted if one of Dr. Boruhkova’s relatives, when she decided to embark on her quest of revenge, had quoted Confucius, while at the same time handing her a shovel.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

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One Response

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  1. NewsHuntersHD

    May 18, 2009 at 8:40 am


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