Russian investigators to launch criminal case against the father of the Khachaturyan sisters, lawyers say
On Thursday, March 11, lawyer Alexey Liptser, who represents the Khachaturyan sisters, told the Russian state news agency TASS that state investigators have “launched a criminal case against Mikhail Khachaturyan for torturing and sexually abusing his daughters.”
Police arrested Maria, Angelina, and Krestina Khachaturyan in July 2018 for murdering their 57-year-old father, Mikhail. At the time of the arrest, the sisters were 17, 18, and 19 years old, respectively. The women testified that they killed their father in self-defense after years of sexual abuse. They were initially jailed but later released on their own recognizance, following a public support campaign.
“We haven’t been officially notified of this yet, but next week we should be summoned to the investigator and the girls [should be] recognized as victims [in the case],” explained Alexey Parshin, another lawyer representing the young women.
State investigators have yet to confirm the reports of a criminal investigation into Mikhail Khachaturyan, RIA Novosti underscores.
The Khachaturyan sisters are facing felony charges of murder “committed by a group following a premeditated conspiracy.” Their legal defense team maintains that they acted in necessary self-defense after being physically abused and sexually assaulted by their father.
Lawyers representing the three women have been seeking the initiation of a criminal case against their deceased fathers, but state investigators previously refused: following the man’s death, a case could only be launched with the consent of his relatives, who wouldn’t move forward with an investigation.
In December 2020, a Moscow district court declared the refusal to open a criminal case against Mikhail Khachaturyan illegal. This came after one of the deceased’s sisters filed a claim in court seeking an investigation, in order to rehabilitate him.
Soon afterwards, the Moscow City Court remanded the case against the eldest Khachaturyan sisters, Angelina and Krestina, back to prosecutors. The youngest sister, Maria, who was a minor at the time of her father’s murder and has been deemed medically unfit to stand trial previously, is set to be tried separately.