Lem Satterfield

Gatti’s manager focused on investigation, not civil trial

The former manager of late Canadian boxer Arturo Gatti¬† is trying to focus on the findings of a private nearly 11-month long probe into the fighter’s death even as a civil trial began in Montreal on Tuesday in an attempt to settle how Gatti’s multimillion-dollar estate will be divided.

Gatti’s family in Montreal had requested a delay so that it could study the findings of the probe, the results of which will be announced on Wednesday by investigators who will conclude that Gatti was murdered, lead investigator Paul Ciolino told RingTV.com.

Ciolino and the family had hoped to introduce elements of the investigation into the Montreal court case, but presiding judge Justice Claudine Roy has ruled that the three-week trial must begin.

“I’m more concerned right now obviously with clearing Arturo’s name and getting that done here and finding really what happened,” said Pat Lynch, who hired the Chicago-based Ciolino and his partner, Joe Moura. “Especially when I have this panel of experts telling me that his death was a homicide and not a suicide.”

Meanwhile, in Montreal, a notary who helped Gatti and his wife draft a new will just weeks before the boxer died said that Gatti wasn’t pressured to sign it, according to the associated press.

Bruce Moidel, the first witness in the trial, testified that he suggested the couple update their wills when he heard they would be traveling without their baby son.

Moidel said that the couple he encountered in June 2009 seemed to be happy and normal.

Gatti’s widow, Amanda Rodrigues, and the boxer’s family are embroiled in a bitter dispute over the validity of two wills with different beneficiaries.

Central to the conflict is the validity of one will that was changed three weeks before his death and left everything to Rodrigues, and another from 2007 that Gatti’s family says is valid and leaves them his fortune, according to the Canadian Press.

Moidel testified he had no reason to believe Gatti did not know what he was signing.

In addition to the will, Gatti also agreed to sign a document that would have given his Brazilian wife $1 million if he ever was unfaithful to her.

Lawyers for the Gatti family claim the boxer did not understand what he was signing in 2009 and that a previous will is valid.

Gatti was found dead at the age of 37 in July 2009 at an apartment he and his family had rented in the Brazilian seaside resort of Porto de Galihnas.

Brazilian authorities initially said Rodrigues was a prime suspect in the case, but later released her when an autopsy in that country concluded he’d committed suicide.

That report said Gatti hanged himself with a handbag strap from a wooden staircase column in their apartment.

“I really haven’t spoken to anybody,” said Lynch. “I know that we have our press conference down here and that civil case up there is something that his family is trying to deal and to battle with up there.”

As for Wednesday’s announcement, Ciolino said, “Certainly Amanda Rodrigues is a person of extreme interest in this case.”

 

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lem.satterfield@gmail.com

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