A young woman murdered last month accused her brother of having raped her and was hell-bent on having him sent to jail, her father told court on Wednesday.

Paul Bonnici, who is serving time for murder, also described his murdered wife of having been a troublemaker and appeared to sympathise with his son Joseph, who stands accused of having killed them. 

"You do not do that sort of thing for no reason," he told the court. 

Mr Bonnici recalled how his daughter Angele and Joseph did not get along. 

“I feared that I would die and she would file a case against him,” he told the court. 

Joseph Bonnici stands accused of having murdered his mother Maria Lourdes and sister Angele late in March, shooting them in the head using a homemade gun which a ballistics expert testified was designed to take 12 to 16 gauge shotgun pellets. 

Police testified earlier this month that they believe he meticulously planned the double murder, luring the two women to his house to kill them, hiding the bodies and then getting back to bed so that his girlfriend would not suspect anything was wrong.

On Wednesday, the court placed him under a bill of indictment.

Tensions between siblings

During that sitting, Mr Bonnici said that he did not know why the siblings argued, but that Angele had told him that she had a plan to send some friends to hunt in her brother’s field, in the hope of drumming up trouble. 

The family lived on a quiet residential road in Għaxaq.The family lived on a quiet residential road in Għaxaq.

He said that the two children had had a normal upbringing, though he later revealed that he had once gone to his son’s house and seen something that shocked him.

“I peeked through a hole in the door and saw my daughter completely naked, with a towel,” he said.

At the time, Angele was spending a lot of time at her brother’s house next door, where he lived with his partner.

“I told her ‘so why did you never tell me or your mother about it?’” he testified.

Mr Bonnici then told the court that Angele had once told him that her brother had raped her as a girl.

“I told her ‘so why did you never tell me or your mother about it?’” he testified.

In a previous sitting, Joseph Bonnici’s current girlfriend as well as his aunt had testified that Angele had made similar claims. 

A former colleague of Angele's would also make the claim when testifying later in Wednesday's sitting. 

'I killed because of my wife'

Paul Bonnici recalled his murdered wife with a measure of rancour.

“She was always stirring up trouble,” he said. “She would claim that her pots and pans were disappearing, and blame Joseph’s partner. But how could that be? Her door was barred,” he said.

Mr Bonnici was sentenced to 31 years in prison in 2005 for the double murder of two of his neighbours - murders which on Wednesday he blamed on his wife, saying she had needled him into committing them. 

He said that his wife no longer visited him much in prison, with around three yearly visits in the past years.

“She told me visiting made her dizzy, but she didn’t get dizzy when she went shopping with Angele on Sundays,” he told the court.

In a previous hearing, his aunt had described Joseph as a “very good boy” who was quiet and hard working.

On Wednesday, his father Paul continued along that theme, saying he could not understand how “such a good boy” could have killed two people, before adding “but you do not do that sort of thing for no reason”.

Former colleagues, acquaintance testify

Earlier in the sitting, former working colleagues of Angele Bonnici’s as well as an acquaintance of hers testified.

The director of a health and safety company Angele worked at described her as a diligent employee who always turned up for work early. 

A former colleague told the court how Angele had twice told him that she had been abused by her brother. 

"I'm not the Angele I used to be," he recalled her telling him. 

The former colleague had however noticed "nothing strange" when he had once gone swimming with Angele, her brother Joseph and Joseph's partner. 

"It was a normal brother-sister relationship," he testified. 

An acquaintance of  the Bonnici family, Rita Spiteri, told the court she knew that Angele and her brother were not on speaking terms.

“Maria Lourdes would say  ‘għandha raġun’ [she’s right] but give no details,” she said.

The case continues in June, when court experts will present their reports.

Inspectors Keith Arnaud, John Spiteri and Roderick Attard prosecuted.
Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri were defence counsel.