Category: World / October 15, 2012 2:22 PM EDT
The first day of a pre-trial court hearing to decide if Captain Francesco Schettino should face a full trial came to a close on Monday. It was the first such hearing that Schettino had attended in person. Schettino left the court talking to his lawyer as members of the media scrambled to take his photograph. The 114,500 tone luxury cruise ship capsized on January 13th after approaching the Tuscan Island Giglio to perform a maneuver close to the shore known as a ‘salute’. It struck a rock which tore a gash in its hull. Schettino has admitted he made mistakes: But he has accused the company of mishandling the response. He said last week he was suing Costa Cruises, a unit of Carnival Corp, for unfair dismissal following the accident. The former captain faces multiple charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship during a chaotic night-time evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew. Two bodies have still not been recovered. The ship is still half-submerged on a rocky shelf off the island. Eight other officers and executives of Costa Cruises, the ship’s owner, are still being investigated for their roles in the accident.