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Transsexual linked to Italy's sex scandal 'found dead'

A police mortuary van is seen outside the flat in Rome where the body was found on Friday
Forensic tests are expected to formally identify the body

A Brazilian transsexual named in a sex scandal involving a former Italian politician is believed to have been killed in a fire in her Rome flat.

The media said a bottle of whisky was found near the body of the woman, known as Brenda. There is no confirmation.

She was linked to the case of Lazio Governor Piero Marrazzo, who quit last month after a video emerged apparently showing him with a transsexual.

Brenda had denied having any relationship with the former governor.

On Friday, police said that forensic tests were expected to formally identify the remains found in Brenda's basement flat.

Depressed

It was not immediately known if there were any signs of foul play.

Piero Marrazzi. Photo: 2007
Mr Marrazzo has admitted having encounters with transsexuals

Earlier this month, Brenda called police to report that she had been attacked and robbed in the street.

Brenda's friends have also said that she recently told them she felt depressed and suicidal.

Brenda and another Brazilian transsexual, known as Natalie, were involved in the scandal that led to Mr Marrazzo's resignation.

He was allegedly blackmailed by four Italian policemen, who had reportedly shot the compromising video. All four have since been arrested.

Mr Marrazzo has admitted having encounters with transsexual prostitutes.

His lawyer, Luca Petrucci, said the "affair is taking a tragic and worrying turn", Italy's Ansa news agency reports.

The lawyer also called for police protection for Natalie.



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