Passengers, lawyers, and investigators gathered in Grosseto, Italy, on Saturday for the first hearing in the Costa Concordia disaster and charges against Capt. Francesco Schettino. Schettino, who is under house arrest and did not attend the hearing, has denied all accusations of manslaughter and abandoning ship before 4,200 passengers and crew were evacuated. His lawyer said it was “unnecessary” and potentially “a little dangerous” for Schettino to attend the hearing given the “climate that has been created around him.” Schettino’s first officer, Ciro Ambrosio,told prosecutors at the hearing that Schettino wasn’t wearing his glasses when the crash occurred. “He asked me to set up the radar because he wasn’t able to see very well,” said Ambrosio, who is also under investigation. Schettino is currently dealing with other accusations that he was involved in another cruise ship accident in 2010.
PRE-TRIAL Giacomo Aprili / AP Photo