Three Sisters Facing Murder Charges For Killing Their Dad Following Years Of Abuse
Three sisters are facing murder charges for the killing of their father, despite his long history of abuse.
Mikhail Khachaturyan's body was discovered on a staircase in a Moscow apartment block in July 2018 with multiple stab wounds to his chest and neck, CNN reports.
Shortly before his death, the father-of-three had returned from a psychiatric clinic and pepper-sprayed his daughters' faces as punishment for the messy apartment, the sisters' legal representatives claim.
Later that night on 27th July 2018 the three sisters planned to kill their father, attacking him with a hammer and knife, along with the same can of pepper spray he had turned on them earlier.
Investigators confirmed that the three girls suffered years of mental and physical torture at the hands of their father, including death threats and sexual abuse.
The day after his death, the trio were arrested and confessed to the killing.
CNN report that leaked transcripts show that the women attempted to inflict wounds on themselves so that it would seem as though their father initiated the attack.
The women went on to face charges of premeditated murder, which sparked outrage among Russian activists who have been pressing to have a law to protect victims of domestic abuse passed by parliament.
The trial - which looks set to shine a spotlight on Russia's wide-ranging domestic abuse problem - will begin Friday 31st July after a long and convoluted pre-trial investigation.
Over the last year, there have been multiple organised demonstrations calling for leniency in the sisters' case.
The two older sisters will stand trial together while the younger of the three, Maria, who was a minor at the time of the killing, will stand trial separately.
Text messages obtained from Mikhail Khachaturyan sent to his daughters read: "I will beat you up for everything, I will kill you. You are prostitutes and you will die as prostitutes."
Aleksey Liptser, one of the lawyers representing the three sisters, said: "We think that they had no other choice. The father drove the girls to despair, their whole life was a continuous hell.
"They cannot be compared to healthy, calm and balanced people ... [the] girls developed serious mental illnesses, including abuse syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. This was confirmed by all examinations in the case."
CNN report that "a 2019 investigation by Media Zona, a Russian outlet covering justice and prisons, said that almost 80% of Russian women imprisoned for premeditated murder in 2016-2018 were trying to protect themselves from an abuser".
Featured Image Credit: Getty