Jon Inarritu a member of Congress for the left wing Bildu party in the Basque Country was left baffled when he received a mysterious gift through the post last month; a DVD of a Miss Marple mystery by British writer Agatha Christie.
But the package took on new significance on Monday when it emerged it had been sent by the same person who was arrested for posting a bloodied knife to Reyes Morato, the government Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism.
“To be honest I receive quite a lot of strange emails and letters, all politicians do, but this one was particularly baffling,” Inarritu told The Olive Press over the telephone from his office in Bilbao.
“This envelope arrived at my office in parliament containing the Agatha Christie film ‘A Caribbean Mystery’ along with a couple of pages of indecipherable nonsense; conspiracy theories written in French, English and Spanish that mentioned the CIA, KGB,” he said.
Bizarrely for this sort of correspondence, there was a name and a return address on the back of the envelope.
“It was a name and an address in El Escorial which I looked up and discovered was a man belonging to a well-known family that was well connected in business and at the Royal court, he was descended from a ‘conde’.”
“I sort of dismissed it as something curious but harmless but then on Monday when I heard that the Minister had received a bloodied knife and saw pictures of the envelope, I recognised the handwriting immediately,” Inarritu explained.
Newspaper reports have said the sender, a 43-year-old man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was also the relative of a politician from the far-right.
The man was detained on Monday after police found him at the address he had also written on the envelope containing the bloodied knife.
“It’s clear that this man is mentally ill and not a jihadist or a political terrorist, and probably didn’t intend to do harm, but we shouldn’t just dismiss this sort of attention against political representatives,” said Inarritu.
“I have in my mind what happened to Jo Cox (the British Labour MP who was murdered by a constituent with extreme right views during the election campaign in 2016) or the massacre in Norway (in which 77 people were killed at a summer camp by far right extremist Anders Brevik),” the Basque politician explained.
“At a time when there is a lot of political tension as we have right now in Madrid, it can create a scenario where someone who is sick might feel justified in taking action. We just can’t be too careful.”
His warning came in a week that saw other politicians receive death threats in the mail.
Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, the candidate of Podemos to the Community of Madrid, Pablo Iglesias and the general director of the Guardia Civil, Maria Gamez, all were sent threatening mail, including bullets last week.
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