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.
The U.N. experts reiterated that Israel's obligations to uphold the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also applied to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip
Sudan's ruling party on Saturday officially declared al-Bashir its candidate for upcoming presidential elections
"We hold the Israeli government responsible for these dangerous escalations in occupied East Jerusalem, the latest of which was the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound," PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said
About 10 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters entered the Syrian town of Kobani through the border crossing with Turkey, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Abdel Belhadj says victim of CIA, British rendition and he was handed to Gaddafi as part of UK deal
Burkina Faso's government has abandoned plans for legislation to extend President Blaise Compaore's 27-year rule amid protests
"They were killed in different places by shelling and one was killed in an ambush," spokesman Andriy Lysenko said. Eleven others had been wounded in various incidents
Seven nuclear plants across the country were flown over by drones between Oct. 5 and Oct. 20, an EDF spokeswoman said, without any impact on the plants' safety or functioning.
The kidnappers attacked the staff and a contractor for the firm in southwest Nigeria's Ogun state on Friday as they were making their way to work in a quarry
Cuts of at least 10 percent were adopted at the weekend as part of a revision to this year's budget, while job losses and cuts in subsidies to state firms may follow in 2015.
Footage obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union captures eight officers shooting 46 times at a mentally-ill black man armed with a pocketknife
Sweden – in line with statement made one month earlier – officially recognized the State of Palestine, becoming the first E.U. member to do so.
A panel of three military judges sentenced the four defendants to prison terms ranging from 25 to 45 years. The military prosecutor had sought the death penalty for one of them
A group of Palestinian Muslim worshippers gathered outside the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound amid beefed-up security, including an Israeli surveillance helicopter that hovered overhead
Khalid al-Nasser, a member of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, was denied entry to Egypt for "security reasons" and sent back to Turkey
Police source says 9-year-old freed after 3 months in captivity upon payment of ransom