MOSCOW -- A probe has been launched posthumously against a Moscow resident who was killed by his three daughters in 2018.
Mikhail Khachaturyan was posthumously charged with the sexual abuse and torture of his three daughters, who are currently facing a trial for the murder of their father, the young women's lawyers said on March 10.
In December, a court in Moscow ruled that the refusal by investigators to launch a probe into Mikhail Khachaturyan due to his death was illegal.
The request to launch the probe was filed by Mikhail Khachaturyan's relatives, who say they want him to be exonerated.
Investigators say that in July 2018, Krestina, Angelina, and Maria Khachaturyan -- then 19, 18, and 17 years old, respectively -- killed their father at their home in a Moscow suburb.
Materials gathered by investigators included substantial evidence of regular sexual and physical abuse by Khachaturyan against his daughters.
The case has attracted widespread attention and has pitted defenders of conservative values, backed by the Russian Orthodox Church, against women's rights activists who have been calling for the introduction of legislation on domestic violence as a way to bring alleged perpetrators like Khachaturyan to justice and enable their victims to plead self-defense.
In early December 2019, investigators finalized their indictment against the three sisters and sent it to the Prosecutor's Office to prepare for trial. Krestina, Angelina, and Maria had acted with premeditation, it concluded, governed by "a strong personal enmity toward their father" due to continued physical and sexual abuse.
Later, Deputy Prosecutor-General Viktor Grin cited flaws in the investigation and asked officials to reclassify the sisters’ actions as self-defense, which would pave the way for the women to be set free.
However, according to the defense team, Grin later confirmed the original murder charges, sending the case to trial.
Maria Khachaturyan is being tried separately because she was a minor when the incident occurred. A medical evaluation following the killing found her mentally unsound at the time of her father's death, and it was recommended she undergo psychological treatment.
The trial of Krestina and Angelina is pending.