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Gucci’s Wife Said Fit for Trial

October 13, 1998

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ The ex-wife of fashion scion Maurizio Gucci is sane and fit to stand trial for his slaying, court-appointed psychologists testified Tuesday.

The report, which Judge Renato Samek Lodovici authorized at the request of Patrizia Reggiani Martinelli’s lawyers, represented a serious blow to the defense strategy.

Her lawyers had argued that after a 1992 brain tumor operation, she had lost the ability to reason and to judge _ making her unable to order his killing.

Gucci was gunned down on the steps of his Milan office on March 27, 1995.

In January 1997, on the basis of information given to police by an informant, Reggiani Martinelli, her close friend Pina Auriemma and three men were arrested.

All five are charged with premediated murder and risk life imprisonment. There is no death penalty in Italy.

Based on interviews and tests, the psychologists said that Martinelli has a narcissistic personality disorder that explained her behavior. The disorder does not mean, however, that she was out of control or out of touch with reality, they said.

``Just because you go around with your nose in the air and are easily offended doesn’t mean you aren’t an ordinary citizen like you and me,″ said Mario Portigliatti Barbos, director of the Institute of Forensic Science at the University of Turin.

``There was no evidence, now as then, of a pathological state,″ said professor Salvatore Luberto, director of the School of Clinical Criminology of the University of Modena.

Martinelli, who was seated in the front of the courtroom flanked by her lawyers, listened attentively to the testimony.

The defense also argues that although she openly expressed her hatred for Gucci and repeatedly asked friends to help her find a killer, she never meant to carry out her threats.

Her lawyers claim that co-defendant Auriemma took it upon herself to put the plan into action and then extorted $365,000 through threats.

Auriemma, who confessed before the trial started in May, said she contacted the men who carried out the murder at Reggiani Martinelli’s obsessive insistence.

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