Costa Cordia captain hair alleged to contain cocaine traces

by Alister POOLE on February 20, 2012

Lawyers representing survivors of the Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy have pressed for further drug tests on the captain of the ship after traces of the Class A drug cocaine were allegedly found on a sample of his hair.

The consultant who carried out the analyses for prosecutors stands by the results that didn’t discover a presence of any drugs in either urine samples or on hair. Italian consumer protection outfit Codacons is representing a number of the survivors of the tragic shipwreck, which occurred after the cruise ship rammed a reef close to a Tuscan island on 13 January.

Under Italian law, anyone attaching civil suits to criminal cases must be informed of, as well as allowed to monitor, any evidence or other developments throughout an ongoing probe. On Saturday, Codacons released a statement that insisted traces of cocaine were discovered both in a hair sample and within an envelope that contained the sample, although it was also noted that the urine sample that was taken from Francesco Schettino, the cruise ship’s captain, contained no presence of the substance.

Schettino is under house arrest at his home close to Naples while being investigated for alleged manslaughter, abandoning his ship, and causing a shipwreck. His lawyer couldn’t be reached for any comment but Schettino has repeatedly denied abandoning the ship and insisted that the reef wasn’t marked on navigational charts.

In total, thirty-two passengers are believe to have lost their lives, which includes 15 whose bodies are yet to be found and are now presumed dead.

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