Captain in Deadly Cruise Ship Wreck Appears in Court

Survivors, family crowd the proceedings


THE captain of the cruise ship that crashed into an Italian reef has appeared in court to hear the evidence against him, while hundreds of passengers who survived the deadly shipwreck and the families of those who died in it showed up just "to look him in the eye."

The case of Francesco Schettino, 51, was of such enormous interest that a theatre had to be turned into a courtroom in the Tuscan city of Grosseto to accommodate all those who had a legitimate claim to be at the closed-door hearing on Monday.

Wearing dark glasses and a suit, Schettino used a back entrance to slip into the theatre, making no comment to reporters outside. Lawyers said he listened intently to the proceedings inside, where his lawyers raised some objections to the evidence being submitted.