Ex-wife of slain dentist arrested

February 7, 2008 8:37:30 PM PST
Police have arrested the ex-wife of a New York dentist who was murdered on a playground in Queens.Authorities say Mazoltuv Borukhova was taken into police custody Thursday.

She is facing charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy.

Her ex-husband, Daniel Malakov, was shot and killed on October 28 in front of the couple's daughter in Forest Hills.

The couple had been in the midst of a bitter custody dispute when a gunman shot Malakov in broad daylight on Oct. 28. The attacker, using a makeshift silencer and wearing a black leather jacket and a dark hat, shot three rounds into Malakov's chest and vanished, police said.

Malakov had gone to the Queens playground to take his daughter to see his ex-wife.

Police have already arrested one of Borukhova's relatives, Mikhail Mallayev, and accused him of the shooting. They said they were investigating whether Mallayev was hired or induced to kill Malakov. Mallayev has denied he was involved.

"They hired the guy together to plan it, to kill Daniel," the victim's mother, Malka Malakov, said.

"She couldn't get things resolved in a civil and normal way, so she said, let me take care of things the way I can do it," Daniel's brother, Gavriel Malakov, said. "So she said let me get rid of him."

Authorities said last month that Mallayev made dozens of phone calls to Borukhova in the week before the shooting. Mallayev, related to Borukhova through his wife, told authorities the calls were about his wife's health problems, court papers said.

"It's so happy, but at the same time actually very, very sad," Gavriel said. "Bro, you can't, you're not going to come back again, my dear brother."

Borukhova, a specialist in internal medicine, has repeatedly said she was not connected to the shooting.

The brazen killing stunned the former couple's close-knit community of Bukharan Jews from the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan. It came just days after Malakov won a court battle with Borukhova over custody of their daughter, Michelle. "I'm going to say thank you very much to 112 precinct," Malka said. "I'm going to say to government, I'm going to say to DA office."

Since the death, Borukhova has testified in family court that her ex-husband had abused her and ordered her to "clean the house with my tongue." Malakov's attorney said the abuse allegation was fabricated.

The couple's daughter was placed in foster care following her father's death.