October 21, 2012
Expert witnesses and Concordia captain Francesco Schettino were among those who spoke last week at the hearing, which concluded October 19 in Grosseto, Italy. All spoke about the January 13 accident in which Concordia struck a rock in waters off the coast of the small Italian island of Giglio, causing the ship to sink and killing 32 people onboard.
Schettino has repeatedly said he accepts some -- but not all -- of the blame for the incident, while Costa Crociere, the company that operates the ship, has said all responsibility falls solely on the captain's shoulders.
Schettino is accused of causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship before all passengers debarked and 32 counts of manslaughter. Eight others, including crewmembers and Costa's crisis coordinator, also are under investigation. None have been charged.
A judge will weigh the evidence to decide whether there is enough to move forward with a trial. Prosecutors said they plan to conclude the investigation by the end of the year, according to Reuters.
--by Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor