Accused murderer Irina Malinovskaya allegedly falsified an e-mail from her ex-lover Robert Bondar, according to evidence presented for the first time yesterday.
The document - for which she has been charged with attempted tampering with physical evidence - is the first major change in a case that has ended twice with hung juries.
"Thank you for the romantic evening. I like it when you invite me to your place like that. Call me," reads the translation of the Russian e-mail, which was allegedly sent from Bondar to Malinovskaya on Aug. 18, 2004.
Bondar, the then-boyfriend of victim Irina Zlotnikov, testified earlier that until the murder, Malinovskaya had been to his apartment only once, a year before the e-mail appears to have been sent.
It is also inconsistent with testimony that he discontinued their romantic relationship after Malinovskaya falsely accused him of giving her a sexually transmitted infection and told him she was pregnant with his baby, which she later miscarried, in the spring of 2004.
The message was not found on Malinovskaya's or Bondar's e-mail servers and computer hard drives when they were seized as evidence following the murder, according to detective Steve Bunting, a computer-forensics examiner.
Bunting said he found only four e-mails received by Malinovskaya on the day the e-mail was allegedly sent - none of which were from Bondar.
In addition, the Russian word for "romantic," which is used in the message, was not found in any search of the nearly 3,000 e-mails from Malinovskaya's Wharton Webmail account.
In an usual move, one of Malinovskaya's past defense attorneys, Mary Burnell, took the stand, saying that Malinovskaya gave her the document on Sept. 19, 2006, in the midst of her second trial.
Burnell then gave the document on to Deputy Attorney General William George, who led the prosecution in the second trial.
"I thought I was pretty familiar with every e-mail that had gone through Bondar and the defendant," said George, but the new e-mail "stood out."
Burnell said that she was subpoenaed to appear in court, and that she wouldn't have willingly testified against her former client.
"I don't believe my testimony accomplished much," she said.
In addition to the allegedly falsified document, the defense finished their cross examination of detective Joseph Szczerba, who admitted to lying to Malinovskaya about the evidence he had against her as an interrogation technique.
The prosecution called another investigating detective to the stand who testified that no blood was found in Malinovskaya's rental car, but that her fingerprints were found on the cap of a detergent bottle in Bondar's apartment.
Malinovskaya has previously testified that she was with Bondar in his apartment two days before the murder.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.