Three Russian teen sisters, Krestina, 19, Angelina, 18, and 17 year old Maria Khachaturyan, charged with killing their father who they claim was physically and sexually abusive towards them, have been accused by family members of lying about the tales of abuse.
The explosive allegations against the Khachaturyan sisters were launched by their dead father’s sister and nephew in advance of their trial, which is set to begin Friday July 31, in Moscow for two of the three sisters.
According to investigators, Mikhail Khachaturyan’s body was found on a staircase in a Moscow apartment in July 2018, with dozens of knife wounds to his chest and neck.
A few hours before his death, he chastised his three daughters for the dirty apartment and pepper-sprayed their faces. His eldest daughter Krestina, who has asthma, fainted in the process.
According to investigators, that was the night when the Khachaturyan sisters decided to kill their father as they attacked him with a hammer, a knife, and the same pepper spray he had used on them earlier, as he slept in July 2018.
According to interrogation transcripts leaked to the press, the young women tried to inflict wounds on themselves to make it seem as if their father, who was sleeping at the start of the attack, had struck them with a knife first. Then they called the police and an ambulance.
After the three were arrested, they confessed to the killing, saying they had endured years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse from their father, but said they killed him in self defence.
They were first charged with pre-meditated murder last summer, but after a string of protests and demonstrations in Russia over the case, under the “I did not want to die” campaign, authorities reclassified the case around the sisters’ self-defense.
But in a stunning reversal, Viktor Grin, the same prosecutor who first recommended downgrading the case, confirmed in May that premeditated murder charges would be laid against the sisters.
This comes after Naira Khachaturyan, the aunt of Maria, Angelina and Krestina Khachaturyan, claimed on Andrey Malakhov’s ‘Let Them Talk’ program, that the sisters had conspired to kill their father, Mikhail, beause he planned to emigrate to Israel when all his daughters were 18.
“They knew they could live the way they want if they got rid of their father,” Khachaturyan said on TV. “They wanted to delete him from their lives,” she said.
Naira Khachaturyan also 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.
Arsen Khachaturyan, Mikhail’s nephew added: “Sexual violence, other violence, there was nothing of that. The girls decided to kill their father, they conspired a while ago.”
Arsen Khachaturyan claimed that one of the sisters had inflicted wounds on the other two which they later blamed on violence by their father.
The younger one Maria, was a minor at the time of the killing but got indicted after she turned 18.
She has been deemed as mentally unfit to commit a murder and will be tried separately on a murder charge according to their lawyer, Aleksey Liptser.
In text conversations obtained from their father’s phone and published on Facebook by Liptser, Mikhail Khachaturyan appeared to have threatened to kill them and sexually abuse them and their mother.
“I will beat you up for everything, I will kill you,” says one text from April 2018, accusing them of having sexual relations with a male friend. “You are prostitutes and you will die as prostitutes.”
The interrogation transcripts also painted series of mental, physical and sexual abuse for years.
“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,” said one of the sisters’ lawyers, Aleksey Parshin.