The incident, which occurred in Russia in 2018, is still nowhere close to reaching a conclusion as the court couldn't finalize jurors after six attempts.
Trigger Warning: This story contains graphic details of abuse and murder some readers may find disturbing.
Two sisters are facing a murder investigation after a judge ruled that they may have lied about killing their abusive father in self-defense. Krestina, Angelina, and Maria Khachaturyan were allegedly subjected to years of physical and sexual abuse by their father Mikhail, 57, which led them to stab him to death in 2018. However, a Russian court has ordered a fresh investigation to determine whether the girls faked claims of abuse after the man's family members hinted that the girls killed him for inheritance. According to BBC, the ruling is a big blow for Krestina and Angelina, as they may now face up to 20 years in jail if proven guilty.
On July 27th, 2018 in Moscow Mikhail Khachaturyan was killed. The murder was committed by his three daughters: Krestina, Angelina and Maria. Later it turned out that Mikhail used to abuse his daughters. #freekhachaturyansisters #russia #russianfeminist #domesticviolence pic.twitter.com/YopPcYNDCb— magic girl (@postsoldier) December 20, 2020
Maria, on the other hand, is not facing charges as she was already adjudged temporarily insane by the judge who sent her to a psychiatric facility. While Krestina and Angelina admitted to killing their father, Maria said she was present but didn't participate. Alexey Lipster, a lawyer for the sisters, has said the father will be posthumously prosecuted if evidence of the same comes to light. "The court has granted the plaintiffs' request to return the case to the prosecutor's office until there is a final decision on a criminal case against Mikhail Khachaturyan." Though the sisters' legal team has urged the court to be treated as victims, their father's family has argued that the pair should be incarcerated as they are lying.
Outrage in #Russia as abused teen sisters charged with murdering their father— Merton Gaudette (@Merton_G3) July 5, 2019
Murder charges against the daughters of Mikhail Khachaturyan, now aged 18, 19 and 20, have shone light on how Russia deals with cases of #DomesticViolence and #SexualAbuse.https://t.co/OmsD4CzhN9
Alexey Parshin, a lawyer for Angelina, said the case against the sisters should be "dropped altogether" because the sisters used "necessary self-defense"
to save themselves from brutal abuse. According to RFERL, the new twist comes after the Moscow court failed six times in selecting a jury due to fears over Coronavirus. The case has stirred a huge cultural debate in Russia. A CNN report reveals that Khachaturyan's murder occurred in July 2018 and his body was found on the staircase of an apartment block with multiple stab wounds to his chest and neck. Per reports, the 57-year-old arrived at their daughters' apartment from a psychiatric clinic and found the place in complete disarray. Fuming at the sight, the father called in the three daughters one by one into a room, gave them an earful, and pepper-sprayed their faces.
“In text conversations obtained from their father's phone…Mikhail Khachaturyan appeared to have threatened to kill them and sexually abuse them and their mother.”https://t.co/CN3PI2UVcw#PeaceworksIncCO#SupportSurvivors pic.twitter.com/raiH1YTpoc— PeaceWorks Inc. (@PeaceWorksIncCO) August 8, 2020
Krestina, the eldest, with asthma, fainted after the punishment while the other two managed also received the very same treatment. This was the last straw for the girls — then aged 19, 18, and 17 respectively —and they decided to kill their father. Later that night when Khacaturyan was fast asleep, the elder sisters pepper-sprayed him, and stabbed him before using a hammer to bludgeon him to death. As per interrogation transcripts verified by CNN, the women allegedly tried to inflict wounds on themselves to prove their father had attacked them first. Then they called the police and ambulance. The case has brought up the debate on the country's lackadaisical approach towards domestic violence. For instance, if a man beats a woman badly but not severely enough to be admitted to a hospital, he may get away with a fine and two weeks in custody. But, in the sisters' and their mother's case the abuse went on for several years, with police refusing to step in even when they approached the authorities for help.
Outpouring of support in Russia for sisters who killed abusive father— THE WORLD NEWS (@NEWSWORLD555) July 11, 2019
One summer night last year, sisters Krestina, Angelina and Maria Khachaturyan went into the room where their 57-year-old father Mikhail was sleeping and attacked hi…https://t.co/GgFF2RkAwq#Reuters#NEWS pic.twitter.com/8wdiATdewN
According to Daily Mail, he "abused and humiliated" them both physically and sexually and on occasion using multiple weapons to attack them. In one instance, Angelina had blood streaming down her face after a horrible attack by her father, who was said to be deeply connected to senior Russian officials and underworld personalities, ensuring inaction from forces. However, Khachaturyan's sister Naira denied claims of sexual violence claiming they only lied. She said two of the three were virgins based on medical tests, while the third had a secret boyfriend. "They knew they could live the way they wanted if they got rid of their father," she told a news channel. She added that the girls wanted to "delete him from their lives" to live a "riotous lifestyle". Arsen Khachaturyan, the dead man's nephew also claimed that one of the sisters had inflicted wounds on the other two and blamed them on their father. "Sexual violence, other violence, there was nothing of that," he said. "The girls decided to kill their father, they conspired a while ago."
Quote:— edward bentfield (@algernonia) November 21, 2019
'When Mikhail Khachaturyan was asleep in a chair, his eldest daughter Krestina, aged 19, pepper-sprayed his face; then Maria, 17, stabbed him with a hunting knife; while Angelina, 18, hit him on the head with a hammer'. https://t.co/qbZfxXAMem
'Not a person, an animal'.