Costa Concordia hearing re-opens

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Costa Concordia hearing re-opens

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The pre-trial hearing into the sinking of the cruise liner the Costa Concordia last year has resumed in Italy.

According to his lawyers, Francesco Schettino, who was Captain of the vessel at the time, is depressed due to the media coverage of the case.

He could face various charges relating to the tragedy, including abandoning ship. But Francesco Pepe, one of his lawyers, disputes this.

“We are convinced the charge is absurd because the situation he was in meant it was impossible to remain on board,” he said.

Today’s hearing, being held in a theatre to accommodate the anticipated crowds, was to discuss fast-tracking Schittino and five other defendants, including two officers, to trial.

He wants a twin ship to reconstruct the events leading up to the tragedy.

Thirty two people died in the sinking of the craft, off the eastern coast of Italy in November last year.

It hit a rock which carved a 70-metre gash into its hull.

The Costa Concordia took on water and quickly turned over on its side.