The Genoa Bridge test began four years after the disaster and was set last month.

Genoa, Italy — A trial of 59 people faced with a series of accusations over the fatal collapse of a highway bridge in the Italian port city of Genoa began Thursday in front of relatives of the victims, but was postponed to the summer. it was done.

The judge said the procedure was resumed on September 12, and a hearing is scheduled until July 2023. Given the complexity of the case, the session is likely to continue beyond that day.

The Ponte Morandi, operated by Atlantia’s highway unit Autostrade perl’Italia (Aspi), collapsed at the peak of the summer season on August 14, 2018, killing 43 people and the state of Italy’s collapsing infrastructure. Became clear.

Defendants face charges ranging from manslaughter to false statements. They all denied the accusation.

Some of the people at the dock are former Atlantic CEO Giovanni Stelucci, who has been accused of endangering road safety and deliberately neglecting precautions to prevent disasters. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

“We hope that as much objective truth as possible will emerge, and above all, that summary justice will not be carried out,” said Guido Alleva, one of Castellucci’s lawyers.

The trial will take place in the largest hall of the Genoa Court, with a marquee with a video screen set up outdoors and hoped to be attended by hundreds of civilians and journalists.

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The prosecution has put together a list of 178 witnesses who want to call, including Aspi’s current CEO Roberto Tomasi and two former infrastructure ministers.

“The trial is expected to be long and complex,” said Egle Possetti, a spokesman for the Victims’ Relatives Committee. Her sister, brother-in-law, and two nephews died in the collapse.

“I hope there are no loopholes in the thread of truth and justice that have already been revealed in the investigation,” she added.

Chief prosecutor Francesco Pinto said his main concern was that the trial could be too long, the final verdict could not be reached before the statute of limitations came into effect, and the proceedings could be terminated automatically. He said he had sex.

“Unless this is done in a reasonable amount of time, there is no justice for the name,” he told reporters.

Judge Paola Faggioni, who ordered the proceedings in April, also accepted the monetary settlement proposed by Autostrade and its sister company SPEA to end the proceedings against them.

The collapse caused a dispute between Atlantia, which was dominated by the Benetton family, and the government, which ended with the sale of control of Atlantia’s autotrade last year.

Emilio Parody