The trial of the captain of the Italian cruise ship which went aground off Italy last year resumed on Wednesday after last week’s adjournment due to a lawyers’ strike.
Francesco Schettino who was captain of the Costa Concordia, faces charges of multiple manslaughter, causing a ship wreck and abandoning ship. His defence is that no single person was to blame for the accident.
Such is the interest in the case, and with so many survivors seeking compensation, the trial is being held in a theatre rather than a court house.
Thirty-two people died in January last year when the cruise liner with 4,000 passengers and crew, flipped on its side after striking rocks. Captain Schettino was allegedly performing a risky salute to people on the nearby island of Gigilo and sailed too close to the shore. The bodies of two of the victims have never been recovered.
The Concordia still lies in the Tuscan waters. Its removal remains a problem as salvage operators cannot guarantee containing on board pollutants when it is moved.