Costa Concordia's Schettino in court to see if charges to be laid

Posted Apr 16, 2013 by Marcus Hondro
The tragedy that was the Costa Concordia continues to make news as the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, and five others, were in court in Grosetto, Italy, on Monday to begin a hearing that will determine if they can be charged for the disaster.
The Costa Concordia hit a reef  and a massive rock  on Jan. 13  2012.
The Costa Concordia hit a reef, and a massive rock, on Jan. 13, 2012.
Bo de Visser / Courtesy Prorama Films
The 114,500 tonnes Costa Concordia hit a reef when taken too close to the island of Giglio in the Tuscan Bay on Jan. 13, 2012. There were over 4,000 passengers and crew aboard and 32 died. Reports persist that the blame falls on Schettino because he ordered the ship to divert from its course and move close to Giglio to 'salute' his former colleague living on the island.
Schettino may face multiple charges
This pre-trial hearing is expected to last until April 24 and Schettino, 52, and the other five were in attendance at the courtroom Monday and must continue to attend. The prosecution is seeking to charge the others with such infractions as manslaughter and failing to cooperate with marine authorities. They seek to charge Schettino with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship.
That last charge arises from the fact that Schettino left the Costa Concordia well before the ship had been evacuated. On that night he maintained, and has since, that he "tripped" into a lifeboat and was unable get back onto the Costa Concordia. His abandoning the ship, and his reason for having done so, earned him the nickname 'The Chicken of the Sea' in Italy.
Schettino's lawyer doesn't believe Judge Pietro Molino will decide in favor of the charges being laid. "This was an accident at work," Francesco Pepe told reporters during a break in the proceedings. "You cannot criminalize a man because he had an accident while working."