World Bulletin/News Desk
Experts investigating the Costa Concordia shipwreck, which killed as many as 32 people, need more time to gather evidence and will present their findings at a pre-trial hearing on Oct. 15, lawyers said on Saturday.
The panel of experts investigating the Jan. 13 cruise line disaster off the Italian coast are expected to complete their work by September.
Saturday's pre-trial hearing, which considers evidence ahead of a full trial, was postponed after the experts asked for more time to answer some 50 requests from information by the prosecutors, lawyers said. It was the second hearing since the procedure opened on March 3.
"It was a simple technical delay," said Bruno Leporatti, a lawyer representing the ship's captain Francesco Schettino, who is accused of causing the accident and who faces charges including multiple manslaughter.
Leporatti said the investigators had not been able to gather all the evidence "given the complexity of the questions".
The huge Costa Concordia, with some 4,200 passengers and crew aboard, ran aground and half capsized after a rock tore a hole in its hull when it approached the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio during a cruise of the western Mediterranean.
At least 30 people died during a chaotic nighttime evacuation of the 114,500-tonne ship, and another two bodies have still not been recovered.
Alessandro Lecci, a lawyer representing Giglio, said a delay was preferable to the risk of having incomplete evidence in any subsequent trial. He said the experts' investigation was at an advanced stage.
Prosecutors have accused Schettino of causing the accident by bringing the multi-storey ship too close to the shore and then abandoning ship before the evacuation of passengers and crew was complete.
Eight other officers and executives of the ship's owners Costa Cruises are also under investigation.
Schettino was released from house arrest earlier this month but was not at Saturday's hearing. He has admitted mistakes and apologised for the accident, saying in his first full television interview that he had been distracted when it happened.
Israeli police says attacker shot after stabbing Israelis in Jerusalem's old city
3 people have been arrested in Mogadishu after police raided a private television channel.
A new exhibition at the Northern Illinois University highlights the material culture of indigenous Muslims in the Philippines.
The German cabinet is keeping minimal staff at it Uzbekistan air base, paying $35 million a year.
Reported shooting comes as Israeli forces search for killers of settler couple
Palestinians were protesting against the raid in the territory's main northern city of Nablus hurled stones at soldiers, who responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition, the sources said.
UN secretary general has appealed for an end to fighting as experts fear looming humanitarian disaster with Libya factions missing the ceasefire deadline.
Bomb blasts have ripped through Abuja killing 15 people
Seven opposition candidates call for delaying Oct. 11 presidential polls in light of ‘electoral irregularities’
The banning of Tajikistan's main opposition party has drawn condemnation from the United Nations.
8 ministries, 30 departments have been cut in a shakeup that will slash ministers' pay
Belgian families open doors to refugees in Brussels to save them from the cold as they process asylum applications
Island solution not to create losers and winners, but 'winners on both sides', says Turkish Cypriot leader, Akinci, while the Greek Cypriot leader agreed saying that a window for a deal exists
Local elections and implementation of cease-fire deal in Ukraine are expected to be delayed beyond 2015, French President says following Normandy group meeting
15-year-old boy plotted with associates to decapitate police officers in Melbourne on Anzac Day
Rampage comes after two Jewish settlers were killed Thursday night near southern West Bank city of Nablus