By Ivan Pereira
A Queens Family Court judge ordered last week that Michelle Malakov pay fewer visits to relatives of her convicted mother, who was deemed an abusive parent, after it was revealed that the 6-year-old has been left emotionally confused by her feuding families.
Judge Linda Tally said Mazoltuv Borukhova, who is serving a life sentence for plotting the murder of her estranged husband Daniel Malakov at a Forest Hills playground, jeopardized the emotional well-being of their girl by having her father killed right in front of her eyes.
“It is evident that the parent’s actions show an impaired understanding of the duties of parenthood,” the judge said during the Family Court hearing Sept. 16. “The court finds this is an extreme example of abuse.”
Borukhova was stone-faced as the judge read her decision made after the city Administration for Children’s Services gave the judge numerous pieces of evidence from the criminal trial.
Borukhova, 35, a Bukharian Jewish immigrant from Uzbekistan, paid her distant uncle, Mikhail Mallayev, 52, to shoot her husband at the Annadale Playground Oct. 28, 2007, days after she lost custody of Michelle to Daniel Malakov, a Forest Hills dentist and an Uzbek immigrant.
Mallayev was arrested weeks after the shooting and later investigators picked up Borukhova after they found the pair had exchanged numerous phone calls in the weeks leading up to the murder but only two after it. They were found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy in March and sentenced the next month to life in prison without parole.
Michelle has been living with her paternal uncle, Gavriel Malakov, for more than a year but has been visiting Borukhova at her upstate prison and her maternal relatives during supervised sessions, according to the girl’s law guardian, David Schnall. Even though he said she has adjusted well to her uncle’s care and was doing well, Schnall told the judge that Michelle had a tendency to “act out” toward her foster family after she returned home from her visits from the Borukhovas.
“Michelle is expressing confusion as to where her home may be,” the law guardian said.
Tally reduced the number of visits to Borukhova’s relatives from three times a month to twice a month.
Borukhova was also appointed an attorney to oversee the rest of her Family Court matters, which includes a pending termination of her parental rights, because of financial problems, according to Florence Fass, her former family law lawyer.
Borukhova admitted to owning at least one co-op in Forest Hills and she hired former O.J. Simpson lawyer Alan Dershowitz to appeal her conviction, but Tally did not pursue a motion to look into her finances.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.