Foffo says Prato killed Varani

Confessed torturer, murderer said many witnesses came and went

(ANSA) - Rome, March 9 - The defense lawyer of confessed torturer and murderer Manuel Foffo said Wednesday his client told a preliminary investigations judge during an eight-hour interrogation that accomplice Marco Prato gave victim Luca Varani the death blow.
    Law student Foffo, 29, has confessed to torturing and murdering Varani, 23, along with fellow student Prato during a two-day cocaine-fueled party at the weekend. He said the pair finished off Varani with knife and hammer blows after beating and torturing him.
    "Foffo confirmed that Prato used the knife," lawyer Michele Andreano said. Foffo also named many witnesses who came and went from the apartment where the crime took place, the lawyer said. Andreano also said Foffo confirmed the pair spent 1,500-1,600 euros on 26 grams of cocaine.
    However Prato's defence lawyer denied his client inflicted the final blow. "Marco Prato did not... stab Varani in the heart," said lawyer Pasquale Bartolo.
    On Tuesday, Foffo told prosecutors he does not believe himself capable of committing such a crime. "There was a time when I wanted to harm somebody," Foffo said. "I don't know how this idea took shape within me. Although I had the thought in the past... I never thought it could become reality. I do not believe myself capable of doing such a thing".
    Foffo went on to say that he and accomplice Marco Prato drove around last Thursday night looking for "someone to kill". "We didn't go through with our intent to harm somebody because we didn't find anyone," Foffo said. "I don't remember how long we drove around but I know we did cocaine during that outing". Foffo also told prosecutors he and Prato cut Varani's vocal chords so he couldn't scream, and his accomplice finished him off by stabbing him in the heart. They left the knife in the body, and it was removed by the coroner.
    They also tried to clean up the crime scene, prosecutors said. Varani's body was found naked in the bedroom of a tenth-storey apartment in the Collatino area of eastern Rome on Saturday evening. However, he is believed to have died the previous morning. Carabinieri police arrived at the scene only after Foffo, the owner of the apartment, told his father what had happened. Meanwhile Prato was taken to hospital after trying to commit suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol in a hotel in Rome's Piazza Bologna neighborhood. He underwent stomach pumping and is now being held together with Foffo in Rome's Regina Coeli prison.
   

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