Ghaxaq murder: Forensic pathologist describes horrific damage to victims' bodies

Both victims of the crime had been shot in the head and suffered blunt trauma to their skulls

Joseph Bonnici is charged with the double homicide of his mother (left) and his sister (right)
Joseph Bonnici is charged with the double homicide of his mother (left) and his sister (right)

A forensic pathologist has given the court the clearest picture yet of the horrific damage inflicted on the bodies of Maria Lourdes and Angele Bonnici who were murdered in their Ghaxaq home last March.

Joseph Bonnici, 38, from Ghaxaq, stands charged with the murder of his mother and sister, as well as using a firearm against another person, shooting a gun in a residential area, filing a false police report, attempting to hide evidence of a crime, hiding the corpses of people who were murdered in the crime, carrying a firearm without the necessary licence, manufacturing a gun silencer, and manufacturing a firearm and ammunition without the required licence.

He is pleading not guilty to the charges.

Forensic pathologist Marie Therese Camilleri Podesta took the witness stand before magistrate Joe Mifsud this morning to present a report on the autopsy’s findings. Both victims had been shot in the head and suffered blunt trauma to their skulls. They were struck with something heavy, she said. Asked where on the head they had been struck, she said “I couldn’t tell, the head was smashed.”

Inspector Charlot Casha, a forensic police officer, exhibited crime scene photos. He had also found a firearm at the scene which had later been taken for testing.

Lawyer Franco Debono is defence counsel.

Inspectors Keith Arnaud and Roderick Attard are prosecuting.

The case continues on July 29.

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