PROBE OF GUCCI’S MURDER SEEN FOCUSING ON BUSINESS DEALINGS

Byline: Sara Gay Forden

MILAN — The investigation into the murder of Maurizio Gucci will probably focus on his business connections, according to the magistrate heading the probe.
“Certainly all possibilities are open, but the most likely path involves the business affairs and financial transactions of the victim,” magistrate Carlo Nocerino, an expert in financial crimes, told WWD Tuesday.
In Italy, magistrates are similar to district attorneys in the U.S.
As reported, the 46-year-old former chairman of Guccio Gucci SpA — who was the last Gucci to control the luxury goods firm founded by his grandfather in 1922 — was gunned down in his office building here Monday morning. Nocerino said the investigation is still in the preliminary stages, revolving around technical evidence such as autopsy results, ballistic reports and a reconstruction of the shooting. Police have also developed a composite image of the suspected killer based on interviews with the building’s doorman, who was wounded by the shooter, and a passerby who saw the fleeing gunman.
Nocerino said the second phase of the investigation will involve a review of Gucci’s bank accounts and overall financial situation. The investigation is also expected to extend into Switzerland, where Gucci was a resident and had conducted financial operations.
Observers here are generally viewing the killing as a sinister “settling of accounts,” rather than the violent conclusion to a long-simmering family feud — as some press reports here had speculated. Maurizio Gucci had fought bitterly with his cousins over control of the firm in the late 1980s, but there had been no public trouble between them in recent years.
“It’s true the Guccis were quarrelers, but they weren’t killers,” said one former Gucci aide. “Besides,” it was noted, “the conflicts between them had ebbed — there wasn’t a lot of contact between Maurizio and his cousins.”
A date for Maurizio Gucci’s funeral hasn’t yet been set.