Trans­sex­ual wit­ness found burnt to death

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

ROME: A Brazil­ian trans­sex­ual caught up in a scan­dal which prompted the res­ig­na­tion of a se­nior Ital­ian politi­cian – the cen­tre-left gov­er­nor of Lazio re­gion, which in­cludes Rome – was found burnt to death in his home yes­ter­day.

Po­lice found a body fol­low­ing a fire in a flat in a neigh­bour­hood fre­quented by trans­sex­ual pros­ti­tutes. Court sources said mag­is­trates were treat­ing the death as mur­der.

Foren­sic tests were ex­pected to iden­tify the re­mains as those of a trans­sex­ual known only as Brenda, po­lice said.

Brenda and an­other Brazil­ian trans­sex­ual were at the cen­tre of a case in­volv­ing the black­mail of for­mer Lazio gov­er­nor Piero Mar­razzo by four po­lice of­fi­cers who se­cretly filmed him hav­ing sex and tak­ing drugs with one of them.

Mar­razzo, a for­mer jour­nal­ist with state broad­caster RAI who was elected gov­er­nor in 2005, quit his post when the case came to light in Oc­to­ber. He took refuge in a monastery out­side Rome.

Of the four po­lice­men ar­rested on black­mail charges, one was re­leased, one is un­der house ar­rest and two are in cus­tody.

Mar­razzo has ac­knowl­edged he paid pros­ti­tutes and took co­caine. How­ever, he faces no crim­i­nal charges and nei­ther did the two trans­sex­u­als, as pros­ti­tu­tion is not a crime in Italy.

Mar­razzo’s lawyer, Luca Petrucci, told re­porters Brenda’s death was “re­ally wor­ry­ing news” and de­manded po­lice pro­tec­tion for the other trans­sex­ual in the case, who is known as Natalie.

Brenda had called the po­lice 12 days ago af­ter re­port­ing be­ing at­tacked in the street and hav­ing a cell­phone stolen.

“I can’t be­lieve last week this per­son was at­tacked and robbed and then a few hours ago burnt to death. We must find out what’s be­hind it,” said Petrucci. – Reuters

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