Two out of three sisters who killed their ‘rapist’ father after suffering years of sexual abuse and torture at his hands must stand trial for premeditated murder, Russian authorities have said.
Mikhail Khachaturyan, a 57-year-old alleged mafia boss, was killed with his own hunting knife and a hammer by his daughters Krestina, Angelina and Maria – then aged 19, 18 and 17 – in 2018 in what their supporters say was an act of self-defence.
But officials have refused to see it that way, ordering Krestina and Angelina to stand trial while saying that Maria should receive psychiatric treatment.
The Russian Investigative Committee acknowledged ‘mitigating circumstances’ in the case but the two older sisters could still face 20 years in prison.
The latest twist in the case comes only five months after prosecutors said they were dropping charges – but the committee subsequently refused to close the case.
Mikhail Khachaturyan, 57, was killed by his daughters Krestina, Angelina and Maria after subjecting them to years of physical and sexual abuse
The committee’s insistence on murder charges for Krestina and Angelina came despite state investigators agreeing that the father inflicted ‘physical and mental suffering on his daughters over a long period of time’.
Their motive in killing him was ‘acute personal hostility’, investigators found.
Lawyer Yaroslav Pakulin said: ‘The girls were in a traumatic situation for a long time.
‘They feared not only for their health, but also for their lives, and only defended themselves from their father.’
Evidence reported from the investigation revealed the father threatened one of his ‘terrified’ daughters, saying: ‘You will take the place of your mother.
‘I will marry you and you will give birth to my baby.’
An expert report said: ‘He ordered them to get undressed in front of him, saying that he wanted to ‘check’ them.
‘Then ordered them to [perform a sex act on] him, saying that he had problems with his prostate and it would be a cure.’
Investigators say he ‘abused and humiliated’ them ‘with various weapons’.
Maria Khachaturyan, left, and Angelina Khachaturyan, right, killed their father with their sister Krestina as he slept in a chair after years of abuse
The three sisters say they acted in self-defence when they killed Mikhail Khachaturyan (pictured here with two of the girls when they were younger) after years of ‘sexual abuse’
Mikhail Khachaturyan (left) was stabbed to death in Moscow by his three daughters, including Angelina (pictured right)
Angelina had blood streaming from her face after one attack by her father who had links both to senior Russian officials and criminal kings, say reports.
However, the sisters admitted that Khachaturyan was sedated and sitting in an armchair and not directly threatening them when they took his life in 2018 with his hunting knife and a hammer.
Initially Maria had claimed he was attacking them with a knife when they killed him, but then admitted he was dozing in an armchair.
Maria stabbed him, and Angelina hit him with a hammer.
Krestina’s lawyer has claimed she had no part in the actual killing although she was present.
Investigators said Maria was not ‘aware of the actual nature of the actions taken’ in attacking her father and should be committed to a psychiatric hospital.
Angelina (left) is set to face trial while Maria (right) should be treated by psychiatrists, Russian state investigators said
Angelina Khachaturyan pictured in court at an earlier stage of the legal process
The shocking case had transfixed Russians amid defence demands that the sisters could not be held responsible for their actions.
Lawyers are appealing for the women to be treated as victims, arguing that years of ‘torture and sexual abuse’ from their ‘controlling paedophile father’ meant that they had used ‘necessary self-defence’ when they killed him.
Almost a million people have signed petitions demanding they are allowed to go free.
A court earlier ruled that Maria did not understand her actions when she was part of the alleged ‘group’ conspiracy kill their ‘mafia boss’ father.
After the attack, Maria admitted: ‘We all were scared. It seems that Krestina checked his pulse. I called the ambulance and police.’
The Russian prosecutor general will now make a final decision on the charges they will face in court.