Costa Concordia Hearings Begin

    (FILES) This file picture taken on June 25, 2012 shows a small sailing dinghy sailing past the stranded Costa Concordia cruise ship near the harbour of Giglio Porto. An Italian court is expected to determine in the Tuscan city of Grosseto from October 15, 2012 who should face trial for the Concordia cruise ship disaster in January which left 32 people dead, amid accusations of a series of safety breaches and fatal delays. Hundreds of lawyers, scientific experts and survivors from the Costa Concordia tragedy are to attend the pre-trial hearing.   AFP PHOTO / FILES / VINCENZO PINTO        (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/GettyImages)

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    A series of pretrial hearings into the Costa Concordia cruise-liner disaster began Monday in Italy. Among the hundreds of people in attendance was the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, whose personal conduct during and after the disaster has been at the center of the probe into what went wrong and when. “We came to see Schettino,” said one German passenger who attended the hearings. “I don’t know if the Italian justice system can be trusted, but I hope so.” The Costa Concordia, with 4,229 passengers on board, struck a reef in January and tipped completely on its side.

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