The parents of a young woman who was crushed to death by a truck in Naxxar four years ago, then buried in a plastic bag, have set up a crowdfunding page to raise money to continue fighting two legal battles in the name of justice for their daughter.
“I am fighting so no one passes through what we went through.
“People keep telling me this will not bring her back. I know it won’t. But no one else should go through what we are going through. When we saw our daughter buried in a plastic bag, the shock was as big as when she was killed. My family was stripped of its dignity,” said Josephine Boni.
Her 27-year-old daughter Johanna was crushed to death by a cement mixer in Labour Avenue, Naxxar on January 5, 2016.
She was riding her Kawasaki ER6N to work. The truck driver was charged with involuntary homicide and is pleading not guilty in an ongoing case.
Three years later, in January 2019, her parents Josephine and Pippo Boni – who live in Sicily – got another horrific shock when they discovered she had been buried in a body bag placed inside the coffin.
The parents only discovered this by chance, prior to the burial of Johanna Boni’s grandfather who was to be interred in the same grave at the Mosta cemetery.
The red dress they had purchased for Johanna, a necklace and a pair of shoes were placed in the corners of the coffin.
When we saw our daughter buried in a plastic bag the shock was as big as when she was killed
This was the beginning of an unprecedented legal battle. The parents, through their lawyers Michele Cardinali and Matthew Paris, filed an application calling on the First Hall of the Civil Court to order the police commissioner to investigate and take action against those responsible for failing to give their daughter a dignified burial.
In the application they explained that they had engaged undertaker Anne Falzon with the funeral of their daughter and provided her with the clothes to bury her in.
On the day of the funeral, January 9, 2016, Ms Falzon advised them not to look inside the coffin since Johanna’s head injuries were a traumatising site. They trusted her and took her advice.
It was only three years later – on January 26, 2019 – that the parents found out she was buried in a plastic body bag. They filed a criminal complaint with the police to investigate and charge Ms Falzon, and anyone else responsible, with failing to bury Johanna with dignity – a contravention.
But, on advice of the attorney general, the police informed the parents they could not move forward with investigations since the charge (contravention) was time barred. And, since the offence was a contravention, the law did not allow the couple to file a police challenge contesting this decision.
The parents are arguing that this was a contravention of a permanent nature, which was still ongoing and would only end once the situation was rectified. So, it could not be time barred. They claimed the decision by the police was an administrative breach of their constitutional right to access to justice.
They called on the court to declare the police commissioner’s decision null and void and order him to start investigating to bring those responsible to justice.
The couple are calling on the public to help them raise money to continue their quest for justice for Johanna as legal and travel costs are draining their funds.
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