Abuse
Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Pixabay

A lawyer for three Russian sisters who killed their father after years of beatings and sexual abuse said Wednesday investigators had refused to drop murder charges despite a request from prosecutors.

Krestina, Angelina and Maria Khachaturyan together stabbed their father, Mikhail, to death in July 2018 at their home in Moscow after he subjected them to rape and abuse and prevented them from attending school.

They were 19, 18 and 17 at the time. The two older sisters, Krestina and Angelina, face up to 20 years in prison.

The high-profile case sparked rallies in their support as horrifying details of their lives emerged.

In January, prosecutors ordered the case be dropped, saying investigators had not taken the father's "systematic" abuse into account.

The move was seen as a major victory for Russia's civil society and would set a legal precedent helping other women.

On Wednesday, Alexey Liptser, a lawyer for Krestina, said however that the powerful Investigative Committee had "decided to ignore the position of the General Prosecutor's Office."

Speaking to AFP, Liptser expressed hope that the prosecutors would also now refuse to budge.

Until the two parties agree, the case cannot go to court, he added.

There was no immediate comment from the Investigative Committee and the General Prosecutor's Office.

The Investigative Committee has recommended charges of premeditated murder with a maximum jail term of 20 years against Krestina and Angelina.

The probe established that the sisters attacked their father with a knife and hammer.

Lawyers and activists have argued that the teenagers were forced to kill their father to save their own lives, pointing to the lack of legal protection for victims of domestic abuse in Russia.