A magistrate on Wednesday was asked to ensure that psychiatric care was afforded to a man accused of murdering his mother and sister in Ghaxaq in March.

The request was made at the compilation of evidence continued against Joseph Bonnici, who has pleaded not guilty to having shot and battered Marie-Lourdes Bonnici, 70, and her daughter Angele, 29, in the family home.

Nardu Callus, a Kirkop resident and uncle of the accused, said Bonnici was a “good man” who only spoke when addressed.  

A maternal aunt of the accused, Frances Ciantar, testified about a visit she had received from her nephew who had knocked at her door, accompanied by the police.

The woman had provided the key to vacant premises co-owned by all siblings, including Lourdes, her late sister, and had accompanied the party during a search of the house in Luqa.

A number of Wasteserv officials posted at the Hal Far Civic Amenity Site testified about the discovery of the mallet allegedly used by the accused and later disposed of in one of the containers for metallic waste.

The discovery was made on April 1 with Domenico Savio Barbara, an operations manager, explaining that the container yielding the suspect weapon, had contained waste tipped by the public since March 12.

PS Antoine Fenech, from the Forensic Science Lab, described how he had filmed the autopsy of the two victims and also recorded audio-visual footage of the Ghaxaq residence, with the accused himself providing the commentary as he retraced the steps of that fateful night.

The accused had also led investigators to the field where the bodies were buried and had indicated the spot where the firearm allegedly used in the murder had been buried.

As the hearing drew to an end, the court Magistrate Joseph Mifsud, was informed by the defence that ever since his transfer from Mount Carmel to Corradino Correctional Facility, Mr Bonnici had not been monitored by a psychiatrist.

The court issued a recommendation to the Director General of Prisons so that the accused be afforded all necessary care and treatment by the facility’s medical team.

The court also notified the Attorney General of the outcome of today’s sitting in view of objections made by the AG to a request by the accused’s girlfriend to get back the keys to the Ghaxaq residence that had been her home for the past 10 years.

Prosecuting Inspector Roderick Attard informed the court that all evidence to be retrieved from the residence had been preserved in the inquiry, thereby paving the way for the AG to reconsider its objections to the return of the keys.

The case continues later this month.

Lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Damien Cassar were defence counsel.

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