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Italian court delays hearing in fatal shipwreck
Italian court postpones hearing in crash of Costa Concordia to examine evidence
By The Associated Press

GROSETTO, Italy (AP) An Italian court has postponed a preliminary hearing seeking to determine charges against those responsible for the Costa Concordia shipwreck that killed 32 crew and passengers.

The court said Saturday it has adjourned the hearing until Oct. 15 to examine an expert assessment of audio evidence from the black box data recorder. The preliminary hearing will decide whether Costa Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, and others should stand trial.

Schettino's lawyer said the audio evidence from the black box confirms his client's version of events. Schettino said in a TV interview that he was distracted by a telephone call just before the Jan. 13 accident. Prosecutors allege he sailed too close to an island in a publicity stunt, ramming it into a reef.

Passengers described a confused and delayed evacuation.

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