Two sisters who killed their dad after years of sexual abuse and torture must stand trial for murder, state investigators have argued.
Mikhail Khachaturyan, 57, was killed with his own hunting knife and a hammer by Krestina, Angelina and Maria – then aged 19, 18 and 17 – two years ago in Moscow, Russia.
The Russian Investigative Committee has acknowledged “mitigating circumstances” in the case.
However, it has defied a groundswell of demands to categorise the killing as self-defence.
It means the two elder sisters could face up to 20 years in prison.
Investigators say Maria should be forced to undergo psychiatric treatment because she was not “aware of the actual nature of the actions taken”.
The committee’s controversial insistence on murder charges for Krestina and Angelina comes despite state investigators agreeing that the father inflicted “physical and mental suffering on his daughters over a long period of time”.
Their motive in killing him was “acute personal hostility”.
Lawyer Yaroslav Pakulin said: “The girls were in a traumatic situation for a long time.
“They feared not only for their health, but also for their lives, and only defended themselves from… their father.”
The Russian prosecutor general earlier argued that years of “torture and sexual abuse” from their “controlling paedophile father” meant that they had used “necessary self-defence”.
Evidence reported from the investigation revealed the father threatened one of his “terrified” daughters: “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 criminal bosses, according to reports.
The sisters admitted that Khachaturyan was sedated and sitting in an armchair and not directly threatening them when they took his life in 2018 with his hunting knife and a hammer.
Initially, Maria claimed he had attacked them with a knife.
Maria stabbed him and Angelina hit him with a hammer.
Krestina’s lawyer claimed she had no part in the actual killing, although she was present.
Almost a million people have signed petitions demanding they are allowed to go free.
A court earlier ruled that Maria did not understand her actions.
After the attack, she admitted: “We all were scared. It seems that Krestina checked his pulse. I called the ambulance and police.”
At the time of the murder, the girls’ mum Aurelia Dunduk was not living with them.
She had also suffered beatings and abuse from Khachaturyan, and was forbidden from contacting her daughters.
The Russian prosecutor general will now make a final decision on the charges they will face in court.