Għaxaq double-murder: Witness hints at sexual relations between brother and murdered sister

The compilation of evidence against a man accused of murdering his mother and sister continued on Monday • Aunties describe accused as diligent, hard working and a good man

Joseph Bonnici stands accused of killing his mother, Marija Lourdes Bonnici (left), and sister Angele Bonnici
Joseph Bonnici stands accused of killing his mother, Marija Lourdes Bonnici (left), and sister Angele Bonnici

A family witness hinted at a sexual relationship between Joseph Bonnici and the sister he murdered, as the compilation of evidence against the man continued.

Bonnici is accused of murdering his mother Maria Lourdes Bonnici and sister Angele Bonnici. He allegedly shot both women in the head and crushed their skull with a heavy mallet before burying them in a field.

The witness, a paternal aunt, told the court that when she had spoken to Angele in 2014, the woman was singing her brother’s praises. There was no mention of a sexual relationship, the witness said.

But in 2017 the victim was allegedly at logger heads with her brother because she had always given him what he wanted and he did not. Angele had then mentioned that he had abused her sexually, the court heard.

The witness said she did not believe Angele because knowing her sex life in the preceding years, it was more likely that she had done something to him. “I would have believed it had it been the other way around,” the witness added.

At this point the witness asked that everyone be sent out of the courtroom because of personal details in her testimony. The magistrate obliged.

When the public was allowed back in, the woman ended her testimony, saying that Joseph was a kind and helpful man. His mother had only expressed fear at the prospect of the father leaving prison, she added.

A police sergeant from the Criminal Investigation Department told the court that the bodies were found at around 3am and taken away in a hearse after crime scene investigations were carried out.

The daughter was found to have been shot twice in the head and the mother once.

Another paternal aunt who took the witness stand, said the accused’s father had called her from prison telling her to go and check at home as he was calling and nobody was answering.

“I went and knocked and nobody answered and when he called me back I told him nobody answered and he hung up. He called again and asked me to try again… I said maybe they’re in hospital,” the aunt testified.

READ ALSO: How Joseph Bonnici allegedly planned and executed the murder of his mother and sister

Joseph then went knocking on her door and asked her to accompany him to his mother’s house.

As he was entering his mother’s house, Joseph told his aunt that he loved his mother but then trailed off without finishing the sentence.

“Joseph was a very good man. I never had any arguments with him. He’s very diligent and his mother used to say that he did everything for her at home,” the aunt testified.

The accused received positive testimony from another paternal aunt, who recounted how the she was surprised at the news of the murder.

“I know Joseph as a quiet boy loved by everyone,” she said.

Asked about Joseph’s relationship with his mother and sibling, the woman said that she had no idea there was any trouble.

The case continues tomorrow.

Lawyer Franco Debono is defending the accused. Inspector John Spiteri is prosecuting.

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