Three teenage sisters charged with murdering their father in a high-profile case that has polarized the Russian public have been released under a new “special restrictions” law.
The Khachaturyan sisters were placed in pre-trial detention on suspicion of killing their father Mikhail, 57, whom they accused of years-long abuse, on July 27. The youngest, Maria, 17, has been found mentally unstable while Krestina, 19, and Angelina, 18, were ruled mentally fit when they allegedly committed the crime.
A Moscow judge granted the prosecution’s request to release the Khachaturyan sisters until Dec. 28, Interfax reported Thursday.
The judge imposed a curfew and banned telephone and internet use under “special restrictions” – a measure distinct from house arrest that became law last spring.
Additionally, Basmanny District Court judge Yulia Safina banned the sisters from speaking with each other or the press.
The murder case has divided Russian society, between those who empathize with the sisters and those who view them as murderers.
Public Monitoring Commission (PMC) prison watchdog secretary-general Ivan Melnikov, one of the first to speak to the them after their detention, blames the system for failing the sisters.
Citing neighbors’ complaints about their father and poor school attendance, Melnikov told Britain’s The Independent last month “that should have been enough to get social services to act.”