Lawyers for three Russian sisters who killed their father after years of beatings and sexual abuse said on Friday that prosecutors have asked that murder charges be dropped because they acted in self-defence.

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

Last month the Investigative Committee said it was recommending charges of premeditated murder with a maximum jail term of 20 years against the two older sisters, Krestina and Angelina, despite the abuse.

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

Investigators ruled that the youngest sister, Maria, was mentally disturbed and could not be sent to prison but would serve time in a secure psychiatric facility.

The women’s lawyers said on Friday that prosecutors have ordered the case be dropped.