'Why are you moving? You're already dead' - stabbing victim recalls attack by flatmate

Man who was stabbed by flatmate said accused had previously only argued with him about cleaning the property

“This is for not helping me,” were the words allegedly said by Daniele Vitale as he repeatedly stabbed fellow Sicilian Mirko Basile, the victim told a court.

Vitale, 23, is pleading not guilty to charges of attempted murder.

Mirko Basile took the stand before Magistrate Gabriella Vella, arm heavily bandaged and large dressing at the back of his head.

He had been living in Malta for the past few months, sharing a flat with three other men, Basile said. The only disagreement they had was over who would do the cleaning. Vitale had brought friends over on a few occasions, said the victim.

On September 28 he had just arrived from Italy, he said.

“I had gone out to buy pizza in the evening and had gone to the pizzeria where he works… I went home, ate the pizza and went to bed. Some time later the doorbell rang and it was Daniele as he had left his keys behind.

He looked like he had taken drugs and came to collect some money, Basile said. “It wasn’t the first time and we know what he’s like.”

“A while later Daniele returned, opened the door to my bedroom and said ‘my girlfriend is coming home’…I said ‘Daniele do what you want but let me sleep.’”

“He came back a second time and told me ‘Mirko the bouncers chucked me out and stole 100 euros.’ I said ‘Daniele I don’t care, let me sleep.’”

“Shortly afterwards, I heard my bedroom door opening and saw a mobile screen light move towards my bed,” Basile recalled. “He said ‘This is for not helping me,’ and started stabbing me in the stomach.

“I ran to the kitchen and picked up the ironing board to try and fight him off but I couldn’t because I was tired and injured.” Basile had tried holding his assailant’s arm but was unsuccessful, resulting in further stab wounds.

Vitale told him “why are you moving? You’re already dead.”

“I pushed him over and ran outside in the road where I found his girlfriend who was scared, I said ‘it was Daniele, call the police,’ but she didn’t.”

“I don’t know what kind of problems he has but there was no warning,” concluded Basile.

Cross-examined by lawyer Marion Camilleri he said there were “absolutely no arguments” or disagreements between them aside from verbal arguments relating to Daniele’s disorganisation.

The lawyer suggested that the incident had occurred as he had left the bathroom, but he replied that the man had entered the house from outside, not the bathroom.

Asked whether the argument was over a towel, he replied: “Absolutely not. I was asleep.”

“So the argument erupted over nothing?” asked the lawyer. “I don’t know what he was angry about…He looked more agitated than usual, like when someone is on drugs,” replied the victim.

Lawyer Franco Debono suggested that he had punched the accused. “No” he replied.

The victim said he had suffered a ruptured tendon in his right wrist, stitches on his right bicep, cuts to the back of his neck, stitches to his side and more stitches to his chest.

“I had tried to resist, but with the cuts I couldn’t,” he explained.

The case continues.

Lawyer Peter Paul Zammit is parte civile.

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