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Opening statements in trial of woman accused of trying to feed friend poison cheesecake

Trial of a woman accused of poisoning her lookalike with cheesecake begins
Trial of a woman accused of poisoning her lookalike with cheesecake begins 02:25

NEW YORK -- The trial of a woman accused of poisoning her lookalike with cheesecake began in Queens on Monday.

The district attorney says back in 2016 the suspect hoped to kill the victim and steal her identity.

CBS2 spoke with the victim, who testified in court.

When the victim was asked if the person who tried to poison her with cheesecake was in the room, there was a sharp silence and a stare of suspense with the two locking eyes for potentially the first time in years.

When asked how she is feeling, Olga Svyk said, "Not so good."

Watch: Opening statements in cheesecake poisoning trial 58:33

Svyk is alive, but the district attorney says it's not what Viktoria Nasyrova of Sheepshead Bay wanted.

"Because she was desperate to never return to Russia," Assistant District Attorney Konstantinos Litourgis said.

Back in August 2016, the DA says Svyk, an esthetician specializing in eyelashes, was called by her client, Nasyrova, about an eyelash emergency. The da says Nasyrova asked to come to her Forest Hills home for a quick fix.

Nasyrova allegedly brought cheesecake laced with a potentially fatal drug only found in Russia.

A friend testified Svyk was found by paramedics passed out and with pills around her.

"She immediately gets sick. She starts to vomit. She was hallucinating. She came to realize many of her valuables were gone from her room -- almost $4,000 in cash, a red purse, a cherished ring, and, most importantly, her Ukrainian passport and her U.S.-issued employment authorization card," Litourgis said.

The DA says Nasyrova chose a victim who resembled her at the time -- both with dark hair, the same skin complexion, and could speak Russian.

When police arrested her, she even had the victim's passport with her.

The DA says Nasyrova is a fugitive from Russia, wanted for the 2014 murder of a woman there.

She was also put on the NYPD's radar before allegedly targeting Svyk, suspected of drugging men in Brighton Beach whom she met on dating websites and robbing them when they passed out.

Nasyrova's attorney said the following during opening arguments:

"This is not an open-and-shut case. We are here today because Ms. Nasyrova is not guilty of these charges," defense attorney Christopher Hoyt said."

In a 2017 interview with 48 Hours from jail, Nasyrova denied trying to poison her.

"I know this young woman. I can tell you that I did not force her to eat it," Naserova said.

Nasyrova faces a long list of charges, including attempted murder. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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