Strike in Italy Could Delay Concordia Trial

July 8, 2013
A strike by Italian lawyers could postpone the trial of Captain Francesco Schettino, who faces charges related to the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

Italy's lawyers are participating in an eight-day strike to protest measures designed to shorten civil trials, according to a Reuters report. The Italian justice minister's accusation that lawyers were blocking reforms was also listed as a cause for strike action.

With the strike set to run through July 16, it would affect the high-profile Costa Concordia trial in which Schettino faces multiple charges of manslaughter, environmental damage and abandoning ship. The initial hearing in the trial is set for Tuesday, July 9, with additional hearings scheduled to take place July 17-19.

On Monday, July 8, an Italian court postponed until July 20 a hearing to rule on plea bargains requested by four crew members, including the ship's helmsman Jacob Rusli Bin and Roberto Ferrarini, the head of Costa's Crisis Unit.

On January 13, 2012, Costa Concordia hit a rock off the coast of Giglio, an island off Italy's Tuscan coast. Several hours later, the ship capsized and 32 passengers and crew perished in the tragedy. The Concordia wreck remains just offshore from Giglio, half-submerged and lying on its side.

--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor