Concordia pre-trial hearing to start

Concordia pre-trial hearing to start

Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino is due in court today as a pre-trial hearing into January’s disaster in which 32 people died gets under way.

He faces charges of multiple manslaughter, causing a disaster and abandoning a ship while passengers were still on board.

Prosecutors say if he is convicted they want him jailed for 2,697 years.

The case will take place in Grosseto, in the town's Moderno theatre, to accommodate the 500 people who are expected to attend.

Evidence will be played onto three giant video screens set up inside and extra security has been drafted in to ring the building during the closed-door hearing.

Schettino said last week that he would attend the hearing so he could "show his face", help his lawyers prove his innocence and reconstruct the events leading to the tragedy.

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