Court Fails To Find Jury For Fifth Time For Sisters Who Allegedly Killed Father They Accused Of Rape
Kristina Khachaturian, 19, Angelina Khachaturian, 18, and Maria Khachaturian, 17, were arrested after being accused of beating their father - 57-year-old Mikhail Khachaturian - with a hammer and stabbing him to death in their Moscow apartment, alleging he had raped them for years.
The trial is now set to go ahead against the two elder sisters, Kristina and Angelina, with their youngest sister Maria being dealt with separately as she is under the age of 18.
However, when the court met for the fifth time this week it was unable to select jurors, prompting a further postponement of the case.
In Russia, jurors must be unaware of the details of the alleged crime so they are not prejudiced when considering the case.
Head of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers, Yuri Pilipenko, said finding people to serve on juries in high-profile cases was a growing problem in the age of multimedia communication.
The defence team argue the sisters had acted in self-defence, and they had no other means of escaping the alleged violence and sexual abuse.
According to reports, Khachaturian had been sitting in armchair watching TV when the three teenagers attacked him simultaneously.
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Kristina reportedly attacked him with a knife while Maria hit his head with a hammer and Angelina assisted by spraying pepper spray in her father's face.
After he fought back briefly, local media say Khachaturian managed to escape, running out onto the apartment block's staircase, but his daughters caught up with him.
Neighbours then called the police, who arrived to find Khachaturian dead.
The three sister were arrested, with a police spokesperson saying: "All three suspects confessed to the crime."
Local reports say Khachaturian divorced his wife several years previously, and demanded his daughters spent their days cleaning the apartment and attending his needs whenever he rang a bell.
If he was displeased by them, he allegedly punished them by raping them.
He also reportedly shot at them with his hand gun, with bullets stuck in the apartment walls found by police.
Prosecutors accepted the unlawful acts of the father were the motive for the crime, but are still proceeding with the case.
Featured Image Credit: Newsflash
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