Family of jeweler killed by Diamond District hit man still grieves

Eduard Nektalov (left) and Hector Rivera

A still frightened family member of a Midtown jeweler killed by a hit man 13 years ago called last week’s conviction of the gangster who ordered the death “bittersweet.”

The niece of Diamond District jeweler Eduard Nektalov told The Post she was in court last Friday when Hector Rivera was found guilty for having the businessman killed in broad daylight on Sixth Avenue, steps from his shop.

“It was sad because, going through this whole trial, we had to relive what we went through back then, losing an uncle at 46 in such a scary way,” said the niece, who insisted on being identified only as “Danielle” for fear of retaliation since the Fed’s cooperating witness — Ron Amrussi — is still free.

“He’s still out. He’s still at large,” she said, visibly shaken.

On the other hand, she said the family is relieved Rivera – a “Diamond District Don” known for shaking down the mostly Orthodox merchants — was found guilty on three murder conspiracy charges and faces life in prison at his sentencing April 11.

“We were happy that justice was served and this guy is no longer going to be a danger to anyone,” she said.

The court heard that Nektalov was knocked off by one of Rivera’s henchman because he refused to “buy” a pair of $80,000 diamond earrings that had been stolen from his shop a year earlier.

“That he had to die for something so small — the price that they killed him for, this whole situation, was so minute,” she explained.

“It was really just a shame. I think it was more ego related — a bunch of male egos — than anything else.”

She said Nektalov helped establish the Bukharian Jewish Community Center in Forest Hills and has a dedication in his name next to the ark containing the Torah scrolls.

“My uncle and my grandfather helped establish and build the entire Bukharian community, helping children go to private Jewish schools, helping build a synagogue. He was just a monumental person, a pillar in our community. So losing him, not to mention my aunt and his children losing a husband and a father, was extremely devastating.”

Since his murder, a foundation was established that raises money for Jewish widows and their children and gives food to poor Jewish families on Passover.

“At least out of all the sadness, some good can come out,” she said. “He has now many grandchildren — or would have had; at the time [he was killed] he didn’t have any. And the whole family really misses him.”

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