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The trial over the Genoa Bridge begins four years after the disaster



(Reuters) – The trial of 59 people facing a series of charges for the fatal collapse of a highway bridge in the Italian port city of Genoa began on Thursday before the victims’ relatives but was then postponed until the summer.

The judge said the trial would resume on September 12 and scheduled hearings until July 2023. Given the complexity of the case, the sessions are likely to continue after that date.

The Morandi Bridge, operated by the Atlanta motorway unit Autostrade per l’Italia (Aspi), collapsed at the peak of the summer holiday season on August 14, 2018, killing 43 people and exposing Italy’s crumbling infrastructure.

The accused are charged with everything from murder in several cases to false statements. They have all denied the allegations.

Among them at the quay is former Atlanta CEO Giovanni Castellucci, who is accused of endangering road safety and deliberately failing to take precautionary measures to prevent disasters. He risks a maximum sentence of 1

5 years in prison if convicted.

“I hope a truth emerges that is as objective as possible. Above all, I hope that no summary justice will be done “, says Guido Alleva, one of Mr. Castellucci’s lawyers.

The trial is taking place in the largest courtroom in Genoa’s court, while a tent with video screens has been set up outside to receive hundreds more members of the public and journalists who want to attend.

Prosecutors have compiled a list of 178 witnesses they want to call, including Aspi’s current CEO, Roberto Tomasi, and two former infrastructure ministers.

Legal sources said that many of the defendants’ lawyers question the results of an expert report on the causes of the collapse, which took a year to compile. They can ask the court to annul the report and order a new one.

Judge Paola Faggioni, who ordered the trial in April, has also accepted a financial settlement proposed by Autostrade and its sister company SPEA to end the case against them.

The collapse caused a dispute between Atlantia, which is controlled by the Benetton family, and the government, which ended last year with the sale of Atlantia’s controlling stake in Autostrade.

In a document that Reuters looked at the results of the disaster investigation, prosecutors said last year that the collapse was triggered by the rupture of the load-bearing cables inside the bracket on the bronze’s ninth pillar, which is eaten up by a highly corrosive atmosphere for 51 years of the bronze’s life.


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