Costa Concordia hearings start in Italy
ROME, April 15 - RAPSI, Natalia Shmakova. The first preliminary hearing in the deadly Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster case has opened in Grosseto, Italy. Captain Francesco Schettino, who has been accused of negligence leading to the accident, is attending the trial, local media reported on Monday.
Five other people are facing charges in the case, including the ship's first officer Ciro Ambrosino, third officer Silvia Coronica, helmsman Jacob Rusli Bin, and cabin service director Manrico Giampedroni, as well as Roberto Ferrarini, the head of ship owner Costa Crociere's crisis unit.
The so-called "technical hearings" will take place until April 24, according to the Rai News24 TV channel.
The second stage has been scheduled for May 13-23 upon the order of Judge Pietro Molino, the Ansa news agency reported. The third stage will take place on July 8-20.
The Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Giglio near Toscana in Italy on the evening of Jan. 13 last year, killing 32 people and injuring hundreds of the some 4,200 passengers and crew on board. Two people are still reported as missing.
Prosecutors in Grosseto launched an investigation against Schettino immediately after the tragedy. A series of preliminary hearings took place from March to October 2012 to evaluate the extent of each of the suspects' guilt.