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Judge Rejects Bid to Have Borukhova Conviction Tossed

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 12, 2013 8:42am
 Queens judge denied request to vacate Borukhova’s conviction.
Queens judge denied request to vacate Borukhova’s conviction.
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QUEENS — A judge denied a Forest Hill's doctor's bid to have her conviction for hiring a hit man to kill her estranged husband tossed out late last week, but the woman's lawyer plans to appeal the decision.

“I’m disappointed in the decision,” said Nathan Dershowitz, the lawyer for Mazoltuv Borukhova, after the judge Kenneth Holder, called his claims "baseless" earlier this week.

Borukhova, 38, was sentenced to life in prison in 2009, after being found guilty of hiring her cousin's husband, Mikhail Mallayev, to kill her husband, Daniel Malakov, execution-style in 2007 at a neighborhood playground for $20,000. Malakov had won custody of their child after a bitter divorce.

The verdict was upheld in 2011. Mallayev was also convicted and is serving a life sentence.

Dershowitz claims that the new evidence he obtained shows that a witness in the case “likely fabricated” her testimony.

He also claims — according to the prosecutors' admission in the Mallayev case — that a makeshift silencer found at the crime scene was not tested for DNA. He went on to accuse Queens prosecutors of perjury and concealing evidence that might have exonerated Borukhova.

The witness, Cheryl Springsteen, an elementary school teacher, testified that she saw Mallayev fire two shots and then put his gun away before walking up the street, the Daily News reported at the time.

The motion, filed by Dershowitz in March, states that Stephen Mancusi, the NYPD sketch artist who met with Springsteen during the police investigation wrote in his book that Springsteen initially told detectives that she did not see the gunman. But later an investigator "got her to cooperate and describe the shooter," the motion said.

In his decision, Holder said Dershowitz has not obtained "a supporting affidavit from Mancusi or any other person who has actual knowledge of what happened (…) during Ms. Speringsteen’s session with Mancusi.”

Holder also wrote that Mancusi, who refuses to talk to Dershowitz, admitted that "the excerpt in the book (…) was intended to be a dramatization of events.”

Referring to the DNA issue, the judge wrote that "the claim is baseless and belied by the record and documentary evidence."

“It’s all questionable," said Dershowitz, who said he will soon file an application to an appellate division asking the higher court to take on the case.

The Queens District Attorney's Office declined to comment.