Survivors, captain hear Italian shipwreck evidence

October 16, 2012 • Business

Lawyer John Arthur Eaves, representing a group of Costa Concordia survivors, is interviewed outside Teatro Moderno theater where the first hearing of the trial for the Jan. 13, 2012 tragedy, where 32 people died after the luxury cruise Costa Concordia was forced to evacuate some 4,200 passengers after it hit a rock while passing too close to the Giglio Island, is taking place, in Grosseto, Italy, Monday Oct. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

GROSSETO, Italy (AP) — A theater in Italy turned into a courtroom Monday, providing extra space for all those who needed to hear the evidence against the captain of a shipwrecked cruise ship.

The case of Francesco Schettino, 51, has generated such interest that the Tuscan city of Grosseto chose the larger space to accommodate all those who had a legitimate claim to be at the closed-door hearing.

Thirty-two people died after Schettino, in a stunt, took the Costa Concordia cruise ship off course and brought it close to the Tuscan island of Giglio on Jan 13. The ship then ran aground and capsized. Schettino himself became a lightning rod for international disdain for having left the ship before everyone was evacuated.

Schettino appeared at the hearing Monday, as well as passengers who survived the deadly shipwreck, the families of those who died in it and scores of lawyers trying to get more compensation for them.

“We want to look him in the eye to see how he will react to the accusations,” said German survivor Michael Liessen, 50, who attended with his wife.

Another survivor said he even talked with Schettino.

“When he looked at Login to read more

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