In a new twist to the Xemxija murder case, in which a Russian woman was found dead in her mother’s apartment, forensic experts told a court of marks on their bodies indicating an incestuous relationship.

Tamara Gennadievan Boube-kova, 58, stands charged with the murder of Yulia Kalinina, 28, whose body was found lying on the floor of the apartment on January 31.

She had been dead for three or four days, according to pathologist Marie Therese Camilleri, who carried out the autopsy. Discoloration of the skin around her nose and mouth indicated she had died from asphyxia from an external cause.

Court appointed forensic expert Mario Scerri testified that when he first looked at the victim he saw a number of bite marks on the body. There were also purple bruises that had not properly healed and had been caused before death. A number of four-day-old lesions were also found on the body.

The victim also had an extraordinary 570 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres in her blood (when the legal limit for driving is 35 micrograms). He added that although the alcohol level in the body rises after death, this amount was very high.

He added that the bites could be split into two categories, aggressive and intimate.

The doctor’s findings were backed by evidence given by dental forensic expert Hector Galea, who said “consensual bites” were found on both the victim and her mother. These had been made by the two of them over a period of time and not in one incident.

The victim had 30 bite marks in all while the accused had more than 50. However, 12 of the marks pertaining to the accused were self-inflicted and were found on her left hand and thumb.

Dr Scerri said he had researched lesbian relationships between mothers and daughters and found no documentation over such incest that led to murder.

Lawyer Joseph Giglio appeared for the accused.

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