Schettino at preliminary Costa Concordia hearing

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Schettino at preliminary Costa Concordia hearing

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Captain of the capsized Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino has attended pre-trial hearings regarding the accident that killed 32 people in January.

The preliminary hearing will determine whether Schettino faces trial next year for manslaughter and abandoning ship – an outcome angry survivors are keen to see. Some gathered outside the building to see Schettino.

“What I would say to Captain Schettino is, firstly, tell the truth, and secondly, to remember that when he speaks, there are people looking at him who are still missing their loved ones, people who will never be found because of what happened. Therefore, what is needed is respect and to take things seriously,” said Italian survivor Luciano Castro.

German Costa Concordia passenger Michael Liessen added: “We want to look him in the eye and see how he reacts to the accusations.”

Lawyers for the survivors, the cruiseliner’s operating company Costa Crociere and Schettino were at the hearing in a specially-adapted theatre in the Tuscan city of Grosseto.

Schettino last week launched a suit to get his job back.

Meanwhile, salvage crews are continuing work to stabilise and refloat the ship, which weighs 114,500 tonnes.