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'Bullet sent to Indian embassy in Rome'


New Delhi, February 20 - A package containing a
bullet was sent to India's embassy in Rome earlier this week in
connection with the case of two Italian marines facing trial in
India for allegedly murdering two Indian fishermen two years
ago, the Times of India website said Thursday.
An anonymous letter contained threats on the marines case,
said the Times of India, which with a circulation of over 3.14
million prides itself on being the world's largest selling
English-language daily.
It said that the "India-Italy stand off over the Italian
marines case escalates with Italy now resorting to intimidation
tactics in a bid to get the two Italian marines freed.
"After arm twisting they have now come down to hate mails,
with the Indian embassy receiving over 100 hate mails, threats
and a parcel having live bullet".
Tensions have been rising over the drawn-out affair
On Wednesday premier-designate Matteo Renzi was said to be
considering "new initiatives" after Italy recalled its
ambassador to India over the case of the two anti-piracy marines
held for two years without charge.
While ambassador Daniele Mancini met with officials in
Rome, Nicola Latorre, chairman of the Senate defence committee,
said Renzi was considering new measures and Foreign Minister
Emma Bonino said the new administration would maintain the
Italian government's commitment to the case.
At the same time, Italian representatives to the United
Nations raised the issue at the highest levels, sources said
The meetings in New York were aimed at reinforcing Italy's
concerns about delays in the case with UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon, who had previously suggested it was a bilateral issue.
The sessions came on the same day that Bonino said that she
is also urging the Speaker of the European Parliament to
intervene in the case, to increase pressure on the government in
New Delhi.
"I wrote to the Speaker of the European Parliament,
Martin Schulz, urging his intervention in the case," Bonino said
earlier in the day.
Bonino said that it was "important to involve colleagues
from other countries," and institutions such as Schulz in
pressing India to move rapidly on the case.
Officials and the families of marines Salvatore Girone and
Massimiliano Latorre were frustrated on Tuesday when India's
Supreme Court announced the latest in a series of delays in the
The marines are accused of killing fishermen Valentine (aka
Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after allegedly mistaking them for
pirates and opening fire on their fishing trawler while guarding
the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie
off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012.
Italy has been seeking support internationally in the case
and last week, European Union High Representative for Foreign
Affairs Catherine Ashton raised the issue with Ban.
Ashton and other EU officials have said that the case has
serious implications for all anti-piracy missions.
Meanwhile, the spouses of the two marines met with
officials and urged the Italian ambassador to refuse to return
to New Delhi until the case is resolved.
Vania Ardito, wife of Girone, and Paola Moschetti, partner
of Massimiliano Latorre, spoke after meetings with government
Bonino "has secured the commitment of the new government
for the release of Salvatore and Massimiliano," Ardito told a
news conference.
Moschetti added that the women pressed officials to ensure
there is "continuity" between the former government of Enrico
Letta and the incoming administration in handling the case.
The marines "cannot be victims of delays and complexities"
amid continued uncertainty whether India will press terrorism
charges, Bonino said Tuesday after the Supreme Court announced
it was postponing until February 24.
The court said that it wanted to give the Indian government
time to deliver a written response about whether to prosecute
the marines on the basis of a harsh anti-terrorism, anti-piracy
law in the case.
The idea of using such a law caused additional outrage in
Italy, as Rome said it would equate the country with a terrorist
Italian Defence Minister Mario Mauro has said Indian
authorities have hit "the limit" of Italian patience in the
"There is no justice in this case. We are faced with
ambiguous, unreliable behaviour on the part of the Indian

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