Three Russian sisters who killed their ‘rapist’ father who ‘sexually abused and tortured them’ are accused by members of their own family of inventing his violent attacks.
Krestina and Angelina Khachaturyan, who were 19 and 18 when their father was stabbed with his own hunting knife, face trial for his premeditated murder.
Their younger sister Maria Khachaturyan, who was 17 when her father was killed, will be dealt with separately by the Russian legal system.
The sisters have all admitted taking part in the events leading to a knife and hammer attack that resulted in their father Mikhail Khachaturyan, 57, dying of multiple stab wounds.
But the women have claimed that their ‘paedophile’ father subjected them to years of ‘torture and sexual abuse’, and they used ‘necessary self-defence’ in killing him.
Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin earlier this year demanded the murder charges be dropped and re-qualified as ‘self defence’, but later reversed the decision and charged two of the women with murder.
The high profile case has been seen as a test case in Russia for domestic sexual abuse – but now ahead of the trial the sisters’ own family have spoken out on a major TV show to accuse the sisters of a plot to kill their father to inherit his money and property.
Their aunt Naira Khachaturyan, sister of the slain father, claimed the official investigation has found no evidence of sexual violence against the teenagers. Medical tests showed two of the three were virgins, she claimed, while the third had a secret boyfriend.
They conspired to kill their father before his intended emigration to Israel when they were all over 18, she alleged.
And she disputed the sisters’ claims that they were shut away and deprived of social contact. ‘They had to get rid of him,’ she said on Andrey Malakhov’s ‘Let Them Talk’, TV show on Rossiya 1 channel.
‘They knew they could live the way they want if they got rid of their father.’ They wanted to ‘delete him from their lives’, Naira said.
The dead man’s nephew Arsen Khachaturyan claimed that one of the sisters had inflicted wounds on the other two which they later blamed on violence by their father.
‘Sexual violence, other violence, there was nothing of that,’ he told viewers. ‘The girls decided to kill their father, they conspired a while ago.’
A lawyer hired by the family to dispute the sisters’ arguments, Olga Khalikova, said: ‘If the girls were subject to sexual abuse, they could have easily told their friends that their father was cruel and raping them.
‘But they never did.’
She claimed they led a ‘riotous lifestyle’ during their father’s visits to Israel. They held parties and took drugs, she claimed, citing evidence in the state investigation of the case.
They claimed they were unable to escape their father’s sexual violence but ‘they could easily have left’ when he was absent, Oleg claimed.
‘In their testimonies, the girls say the violence started when their mother was still living with Mikhail before she left.
‘Why did the mother not see there was sexual abuse and protect them?’
The investigation against the sisters proceeded to murder charges even though it found they faced ‘physical and mental suffering…over a long period of time’.
Evidence showed the father threatened one of his ‘terrified’ daughters by saying: ‘You will take the place of your mother. I will marry you and you will give birth to my baby.’
An experts’ report said: ‘He ordered them to get undressed in front of him, saying that he wanted to ‘check’ them.
‘Then ordered them to masturbate him, saying that he had problems with his prostate and it would be a cure.’
He ‘abused and humiliated’ them ‘with various weapons’. Angelina had blood streaming from her face after one attack by her father who had links both to senior Russian officials and underworld kings, say reports.
The sisters confessed to killing Khachaturyan in 2018 while he was sedated, sitting in an armchair and not directly threatening them.
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, it is alleged. Maria was not ‘aware of the actual nature of the actions taken’ in attacking her father and should be committed to a psychiatric hospital, said the investigative committee.
Krestina’s lawyer has claimed she had no part in the actual killing although she was present.
The two older sisters face up to 20 years in jail if convicted.
The shocking case had transfixed Russians amid defence demands that the sisters could not be held responsible for their actions. Almost one million people have signed petitions demanding they are allowed to go free.