A confidential tip line has been established by friends and family members hoping to free a Forest Hills woman serving life behind bars for the 2007 murder of her husband.
Former NYPD homicide detective Jay Salpeter said he was hired by supporters of Mazoltuv Borukhova to seek information that may lead to the exoneration of the former physician convicted for the shooting death of her estranged spouse, Daniel Malakov.
Borukhova and her cousin Mikhail Mallayev were sentenced life in prison without parole for murder and conspiracy in the “execution style” killing of Malakov on April 21, 2009.
“I believe she’s innocent,” said Debbie Jonas, whose daughter is friends with Borukhova. “Many of us believe very strongly that Mazoltuv didn’t have a fair trial, and the proper investigation was never done. She’s innocent. My gut instincts tell me that.”
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the overturning of the conviction, Jonas and Salpeter said.
“Cases like this sometimes are a result of a rush to judgment by police and prosecutors, while important information is left uninvestigated,” Salpeter said. “Tip lines have been very successful in getting people out or giving me new information. It’s led to the exonerations of a couple of people that were all convicted of murder, one being on death row.”
A motion for a new trial is being prepared by Borukhova’s appellate attorney, Nathan Dershowitz, who said the first trial was marred by “major irregularities.”
Borukhova could be retried by a different jury, a legal source said, if new evidence is found and a judge grants approval.
Malakov, 34, was shot and killed on October 28, 2007 after leaving his Queens office to take his four-year-old daughter, Michelle, to a Forest Hills playground to meet Borukhova for a custody visit. He had previously won custody of the child in a bitter court battle, and prosecutors reportedly claimed Borukhova’s motive for the murder was sole custody of the girl.
“There’s something else out there, evidence that was never looked for,” Jonas said. “Money can’t be equated with somebody’s freedom.”
Individuals with information are asked to call 718-747-4662.