Rome

Italian marine on trial in India appeals for political unity

Latorre asks for united forces to resolve 'tragedy'

Italian marine on trial in India appeals for political unity

(see related story) Rome, March 25 - One of two Italian marines who face homicide charges in India for allegedly killing two fishermen has called on Italian politicians to show a united front on their behalf in an email to a journalist made public on Monday. "Right now, it doesn't help us to know who to blame, because it doesn't lead us anywhere, and political parties bouncing responsibility off each other is even less useful," Massimiliano Latorre wrote to Mediaset reporter Toni Capuozzo. "What we ask for now is not division, but that they link arms, join forces and resolve this tragedy". The two marines, Latorre and Salvatore Girone, were sent back to India on Friday after a two-week diplomatic tug-of-war between countries that has exacerbated political tension within Italy and between Rome and New Delhi. Italy had announced the servicemen would not return to India after they came home to vote in last month's general election. This prompted India to order the Italian ambassador to New Delhi not to leave the country which, in turn, led to Rome to make a U-turn and send the servicemen back. The handling of the affair prompted former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to blast outgoing premier Mario Monti for doing "everything wrong" and call for him to be stripped of his status as Life Senator on Monday. Mediaset said Latorre's email would be read out in its entirety on Monday night's edition of its Terra! show.

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