Gatti's wife dismisses findings of private probe

The wife of Arturo Gatti says the findings of a private probe into his death do not change her opinion that the former Canadian boxing champion killed himself.
The death of Canadian boxing champion Arturo Gatti, left, was ruled a suicide but a private investigator says he may have been killed. (Canadian Press)

The wife of Arturo Gatti says the findings of a private probe into his death do not change her opinion that the former Canadian boxing champion killed himself.

"You'll have to wait for the second autopsy but I know it was [a suicide]," Amanda Rodrigues told reporters at the Montreal courthouse Wednesday.

"It would be easier for me to explain to myself that it wasn't a suicide but I'm positive it was."

Amanda Rodrigues, widow of former boxing champion Arturo Gatti, arrives at court in Montreal Tuesday, where a civil case has begun to determine the beneficiary of Gatti's estate. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)
The results of the second autopsy, done in Quebec, have not been released.

Gatti was found dead at a resort in Brazil in 2009.  Rodrigues was initially arrested in connection with his death but was released after Brazilian police ruled Gatti had taken his own life.

Gatti's family and his manager Pat Lynch rejected that theory, and Lynch hired private investigator Paul Ciolino to look into the death.

Ciolino released the findings of his 11-month investigation Wednesday in North Bergen, N.J., where he presented new information and evidence collected by a team of experts.

Forensics expert Brent Turvey said Gatti's injuries did not suggest a suicide.

"In my opinion he was attacked by a person," Turvey said.

The experts said it appeared Gatti suffered a head injury before being strangled.

Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht called the autopsy performed on the body incomplete and inadequate. He said the position Gatti's body was found in was inconsistent with the reported cause of death.

"This was not a suicidal hanging," he said. "This is a homicide."

Court battle continues

The results of the investigation came as the court battle between Gatti's family and his widow continued for a second day in Montreal.

Gatti's family wants the boxer's last will and testament to be annulled by Quebec Superior Court.

They believe Rodrigues pressured Gatti into making her the sole beneficiary of his multi-million dollar estate.

An attempt by Gatti's family to delay the start of the trial to have a look at the findings of the private investigation was denied by Justice Claudine Roy last week.

Carmine Mercadante, a lawyer representing the Gatti family at the civil trial, said he had no comment on the New Jersey results.

"I'm not going to comment on that because I have a civil case over here and it wouldn't be fair," he said.

Mercadante said he will not appeal Roy's decision and will look at the New Jersey report to determine whether he can do anything else.

Rodrigues dismissed the results of the private probe because it was paid for by Lynch.

The court battle is expected to last for several weeks.

With files from The Canadian Press