Thursday, June 19, 2008
Michelle Malakov May Visit Jailed Mother, Finds New Home with Uncle
I have been following this story closely, mostly because I am quite aware of the significant importance of family and religion in the Bukarian community, and this situation has strained both.
I feel so badly for everyone who has become involved in this, especially little Michelle.
I am happy that she has found a place with family and is not living with strangers who may not speak her language, may not have Kosher food, may not have a religious environment, and I am thanking G-d for the great charity and love that her "new" family unit--her uncle and aunt--have shown her.
They are truly great people to step up in this difficult time, take the responsibility for this little girl, and rebuilding her life for her with the love, support, and environment she needs to regain stability.
Below you will find the latest update--that Michelle's mother is allow visitation with Michelle, and the very positive story of how her life is going with her aunt and uncle.
DAUGHTER CAN VISIT 'HUBBY SLAY' DOC
By IKIMULISA LIVINGSTON
June 19, 2008 -- The doctor accused of arranging a hit on her estranged husband will be allowed jail visits with the 5-year-old daughter who was at the center of the couple's bitter custody battle.
Queens Family Court Judge Linda Tally ruled yesterday that little Michelle Malakov, who's been allowed weekly 15-minute phone calls to her mom, Dr. Mazultov Borukhova, can now visit her while she awaits trial.
Borukhova is charged with murder for allegedly hiring a relative to shoot Forest Hills orthodontist Daniel Malakov last October.
The child has been living with her paternal uncle..
Borukhova's lawyer, Florence Fass, argued Michelle should be evaluated by a psychologist because she appears depressed. The girl's court-appointed guardian countered that the child is "very happy, very settled and very loved."
Michelle Malakov's uncle is her 'Daddy'
BY VERONIKA BELENKAYA, NICOLE BODE AND CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Eight months ago, Michelle Malakov watched in horror as her father was gunned down near a Queens playground.
Today, the 5-year-old ponytailed girl calls her uncle Gavril "Daddy."
"She can't be without him for a minute," her grandmother Malka Malakov told the Daily News Tuesday. "'Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,' and the same with us. 'Granny, Grandpa' - she loves us all and we love her just the same."
Michelle's world was blown apart on Oct. 28, 2007, when her father, dentist Daniel Malakov, was killed - and her mother quickly arrested in connection with the slaying. The girl was sent to live with strangers in foster care while the courts sorted out the wreckage of her family.
Three months ago, Michelle found a new home that her father's relatives say is happy and safe. She is living in Forest Hills with her uncle Gavril and his wife - just a few doors down from her grandmother.
Malka Malakov spoke of her granddaughter's painful passage on the eve of a hearing at which Michelle's mother, Mazoltuv Borukhova, will ask the court to let her girl visit her on Rikers Island.
Borukhova is accused of paying a relative to kill her estranged husband.
"We don't talk about it," Malakov said of the murder. "She goes to the therapist weekly for that. We don't open our mouths about it. She enjoys being with us and we enjoy being with her."
Malakov said Michelle won't be at the hearing in Queens Family Court Wednesday because it's her last day of preschool. She attended the "graduation" ceremony on Monday.
"I was standing in the corner and crying," Malakov said.
Daniel Malakov, 34, was killed while delivering his then-4-year-old daughter to her mother for a supervised visit.
Borukhova, 32, who had just lost a bitter custody battle over Michelle, insisted she never saw the shooter who fired two bullets into Daniel Malakov's chest at point-blank range.
Cops smelled a rat and in February, Borukhova was charged with hiring 50-year-old Mikhail Mallayev to kill her estranged husband.
Borukhova, who is expected to go on trial this fall, has not seen her daughter since her indictment. A Family Court judge refused to let Michelle visit her, so they've only spoken by phone.
Michelle's law guardian, David Schnall, said Tuesday he would not oppose Borukhova's renewed request to see the little girl in jail.
"She's a happy kid," Schnall said of Michelle. "She has emotional challenges ahead, clearly, [but] she's a smart and strong kid."
All is not entirely peaceful, however. The families are still arguing over Michelle's fate.
"She's really having problems there," said Borukhova's lawyer, Florence Fass.
After the slaying, Michelle briefly lived with her paternal grandparents but was removed after she told social workers that her grandma had struck her in the face - a charge Malakov has hotly denied.
Speaking in Russian, Malka Malakov never uttered her daughter-in-law's name and would not discuss Wednesday's hearing - but she spoke lovingly of her granddaughter and slain son.
"She is a copy of my son," she said. "She looks like my son. When I give her a bath, it's the body of my son, it's the hair of my son, hands, feet are my son."