Archivi tag: pre-trial hearing

Documento Newspaper on our client’s testimonies

An article from Documento newspaper in Greece, recently took into account our legal Team collegue Mr. Kriton Metaxopoulos and some of our client’s interview.

Numerous faults, omissions and violations of basic safety rules are detected in the report on the causes of the tragedy of the Norman Atlantic shipwreck from the experts appointed by the Italian Justice which is currently displayed in «Documento» newspaper. At the same time, people who experienced the events of December 28th 2014, talk to «Documento» newspaper and describe the dramatic moments they experienced in the Adriatic, where they literally faced death.

The appointed experts reported that the ship was overloaded with vehicles and especially refrigerator trucks. The results showed that the on board vehicles were more than the available sockets. In this context, many refrigerator trucks had their engines working while the ship was on board. Furthermore, the experts concluded that the fire caused by a vehicle engine/machine, a fact that may be related to the operation of the engines the on board refrigerator trucks. It is mentioned that the inadequacy of the available sockets on the ship compared with the number of refrigerator trucks became subject of the debate among captain Argillio Giaromazzi, ship-owner Argillio Giaromazzi and representative of ANEK, few hours before the fatal incident.  It is also noted that due to overload of the ship, the vehicles in parking lots were almost stuck with each other.

According to the appointed experts, the construction of the ship, the arrangement of its inner spaces and the time required for the activation of the ship’s fire-alarm system were the basic factors that the fire impossible to be extinguished on time.

Mr. Kriton Metaxopoulos, the lawyer who represents families of victims of the Norman Atlantic shipwreck along with Italian lawyers, mentioned in Documento newspaper the following: ‘’The facts resulted from questioning procedure until today and basically the experts’ findings confirm all the allegations and arguments of both families of the victims and tragedy survivors. In any case, according to my opinion, there is no doubt about the civil and criminal liability of the defendants’’.

Survivors’ Testimonies

  • Mr. Ioannis Vassalos (passenger): ‘’There was no plan and the crew was not on its duty positions.  The situation was out of control.’’
  • Mr. Olivier Coissard (French passenger): ‘’There were such high temperatures that our shoes melted and our bags got burnt.’’
  • Mr. Evangelos Tsoukis (passenger): ‘’Every one of us acted spontaneously. […] There was no coordinated action or any information by the crew…’’
  • Mr. Leonidas Konstantinidis (truck driver): ‘’We were trapped and fire was getting closer to us. The only option seemed to be the sea’’.

Depositata la relazione dei periti -Expert’s report is being filed

IMG_7220NORMAN ATLANTIC criminal trial: after a long wait, it has being finally filed the report, drafted from the experts appointed by the GIP almost a year ago; it is a monumental mass of data, which we will have in our hands shortly.

Given the complexity of the investigations conducted on assignment from Bari Criminal Court, the monumental mass of electronic data annexed to the report and the heterogeneity of the various issues that were addressed into consideration from the college of experts, it was agreed to establish a few number of hearings to present the results.

The hearings will be held – March 20 and 31, and from April the 3rd to the 8th of April – in the Bunker Courtroom of Bitonto, considering the need for adequate space because of the large number of parties allegedly involved in the Trial.

As known, in the meantime we launched a 24 million euro civil action in the Court of Bari, and we are fully confident that the results of the criminal investigations will be decisive to ensure the gross negligence of Anek and Visemar in the Norman Atlantic maritime disaster, canceling the indemnity limits for passengers and victims imposed by the Athens Convention of 1974, and push this trial towards the recognition of punitive damages to be borne by the two shipping companies.

Processo penale NORMAN ATLANTIC: dopo una lunga attesa è stata finalmente depositata la perizia redatta dagli esperti nominati dal GIP quasi un anno fa; si tratta di una imponente massa di dati, che avremo a nostra disposizione a breve.

Vista la complessità delle indagini svolte su incarico del Tribunale penale di Bari, della monumentale massa di dati informatici allegati alla relazione e la eterogeneità dei vari aspetti presi in considerazione dal collegio dei periti, si è deciso di fissare un certo numero di udienze per illustrare i risultati.

Le udienze si terranno il 20 ed il 31 marzo e dal 3 all’8 aprile nell’aula Bunker di Bitonto, considerando la necessità di uno spazio adeguato per via dell’alto numero di parti presumibilmente interessate al processo.

Come noto, abbiamo nel frattempo avviato la azione civile da 24 milioni di euro presso il Tribunale di Bari, e siamo del tutto convinti che i risultati delle indagini penali saranno risolutivi per accertare la colpa grave di Anek e Visemar nel disastro marittimo del Norman Atlantic, annullando i massimali risarcitori per i passeggeri e le vittime imposti dalla Convenzione di Atene del 1974, e spingere questo processo verso il riconoscimento dei danni punitivi a carico delle due compagnie di navigazione.

Pre-Trial probative hearing for #NormanAtlantic

IMG_7327After a long wait, the Public Prosecutors of Bari have finally filed the request for the probative hearing, in order to proceed through the Judge experts, to access the ship and examine, jointly with the other parties, to all the data equipment, and investigation results, carried out so far. The experts will be ask to ensure the nature of the malfunction of the fire alarm system, and all supply systems of the motorship Norman Atlantic, the observance of the regulations on ship safety, loading and securing of vehicles, the effective closing of the garage, identification of the causes of the fire, and its propagation, the correctness of the emergency procedures, evacuation and timing of the alarms, in addition to the reliefs of all technical data, in function to the next processual phase of the case .

The GIP (investigating Judge) of Bari, Dr. Alessandra Piliego, has stated the first pre-trial hearing to May 22- 2015, in order to formulate the investigation requests and to formally give the assignment to a college of experts already appointed. We already know the names of some of this experts, or auxiliaries, for being consultants or experts in the Concordia case.

The long list of injured parties in the hearing decree document, is only partial because it is not updated with all further complaints for several other passengers, only recently filed – in many parties of Italy – close to the expiry period of three months after the fact, and apparently not yet formally dispatched to the attention of Bari court offices. This will not be a difficulty as, out of the fact that only some of the passengers apparently proposed a complaint, the GIP ordered the notification of the decree about the probative hearing with public announce, disposing the publication of the document on institutional sites and its transmission to news agency.

norman-atlantic-sportellone[1]We looked forward to start the judicial proceeding operations, that incredibly seemed destined to remain suspended for a long time more. The situation, we must critically comment, seems to have been resolved only with the media pressure most recently placed by the cruise companies Costa Crociere and MSC, complaining about the occupation of the cruise dock in the port of Bari by the wreck Norman Atlantic, from the gruesome and not very reassuring appearance, containing a lot of heavy trucks still loaded of food in an advanced state of decomposition: so, for them, the Norman Atlantic is an inconvenient and stinks wreck.

They seem to forget, however, that this wreck still holds, allegedly, other passenger’s corpse who have not been found or that were not even recorded in boarding list, and that for more than 120 days, many missing’s relatives are anxious to recover and bring home the bodies of their family members, or at least to know if one of the corpses already found on board or at sea in recent months belongs to their relative.

On Monday we will present a formal request to the Prosecutor of Bari in order to proceed, without further delay, to the sample collection for recognition of DNA on family members of some of the missing, and that firstly ask, indeed legitimately require, to know.

After the expert’s operations will also be possible to proceed to a possible restitution, in favor of claimants, of the recoverable vehicles and personal property, if not destroyed in the fire of 28/12/2014.

Our lawyers Massimiliano Gabrielli, Cesare Bulgheroni and Alessandra Guarini will take part at the hearing on May 22, primarily to monitor and protect the interests of the injured parties, but also to assert immediately passenger’s rights, which are still waiting a real offer from the companies.

As for today, Anek Lines and Visemar have not made any kind of concrete offer, avoiding a diligent behavior but mostly, providing an initial and adequate sum for compensation, due, in relation to the victims’ families, some of which, as in the case of truck drivers, have left wives and children without any form of maintenance .



IMG_7327Οι ανακριτικές διαδικασίες που αφορούν το τραγικό ναυάγιο του Norman Atlantic εισέρχονται πλέον, μετά από αρκετούς μήνες και χάρη στην πίεση που ασκήθηκε τόσο από τους πληρεξουσίους δικηγόρους θυμάτων και επιβατών όσο και από τον Ιταλικό τύπο (με σειρά επικριτικών δημοσιευμάτων), σε ουσιαστική και κρίσιμη για ην εξέλιξη της όλης διαδικασίας φάση.

Συγκεκριμένα όπως προκύπτει από το υπ. αριθ. 20598/14 έγγραφο του Δικαστηρίου του Bari (Τμήμα Προκαταρκτικής Έρευνας) εκδόθηκε ήδη και κοινοποιείται σε όλα τα εμπλεκόμενα μέρη (κατηγορούμενοι , μηνυτές κλπ.) ειδοποίηση για τη διεξαγωγή αποδεικτικής διαδικασίας/πραγματογνωμοσύνης για το πλοίο Norman Atlantic.

ELT_18042015-1Συγκεκριμένα, η Δικαστής  Alessandra Piliego του Δικαστηρίου του Μπάρι, έχοντας λάβει το αίτημα του Εισαγγελέα προς διεξαγωγή πραγματογνωμοσύνης με σκοπό τη διερεύνηση της λειτουργικότητας του εξοπλισμού του πλοίου, τη συμμόρφωση με τους κανονισμούς ασφαλείας, το κλείσιμο των γκαράζ του πλοίου κατά τη διάρκεια του ταξιδιού, την έρευνα των αιτιών της πυρκαγιάς και της εξάπλωσής της, τον τρόπο με τον οποίο πραγματοποιήθηκε η εκκένωση και η διάσωση,

ΔΕΧΘΗΚΕ το αίτημα του Εισαγγελέως,

ΔΙΟΡΙΣΕ ομάδα 5 πραγματογνωμόνων (πολλοί από τους οποίους εκτέλεσαν χρέη πραγματογνώμονα και στην υπόθεση  του ναυαγίου του Costa Concordia) και

ΠΡΟΣΔΙΟΡΙΣΕ την ανάθεση της πραγματογνωμοσύνης και τη σαφή διατύπωση των ερωτημάτων στα οποία θα κληθούν να απαντήσουν, στις 22.05.2015 στο Δικαστήριο του Μπάρι στις 9.30 π.μ.

Επίσης, διατάσσει την κοινοποίηση αυτού του εγγράφου σε όλα τα εμπλεκόμενα μέρη, περιλαμβανομένων και των επιβατών και μάλιστα (και) με δημόσιο τρόπο (δημοσίευση σε ιστότοπους κλπ.).

EFSYN_23042015-1Οι δικηγόροι του pool Giustizia per Norman Atlantic με τους οποίους συνεργαζόμαστε στενά θα παραστούν στη σχετική ακρόαση εκπροσωπώντας τις οικογένειες θυμάτων και τους επιβάτες για τους οποίους έχουν ήδη υποβάλει μηνύσεις και θα καλέσουν εκ νέου ενώπιον του Δικαστηρίου τις εγκαλούμενες εταιρίες ΑΝΕΚ και VISEMAR να υποβάλουν επίσημα σοβαρές προτάσεις αποζημίωσης και χρηματικής ικανοποίησης των οικογενειών των θυμάτων και των επιβατών, ανταποκρινόμενες στις τραγικές συνθήκες του ατυχήματος , ενώ την επόμενη εβδομάδα (και πάντως πριν τις 22/05/2015) θα υποβάλουν εκ νέου αίτημα στον αρμόδιο Εισαγγελέα για τη λήψη δείγματος DNA από μέλη των οικογενειών αγνοουμένων του τραγικού ναυαγίου.

REALNEWS_19042015-1Επισημαίνεται ότι μετά την ολοκλήρωση της ως άνω πραγματογνωμοσύνης θα καταστεί δυνατή και η αναμενόμενη από καιρό επιστροφή στους επιβάτες του Norman Atlantic και όσων προσωπικών αντικειμένων και οχημάτων τους ανήκουν και δεν καταστράφηκαν από την εκδηλωθείσα το πλοίο πυρκαγιά.

                                                                                                 Κρίτων Μεταξόπουλος                                                                                               Δικηγόρος, LL.M.

Al via l’Incidente Probatorio per verificare nuove responsabilità Norman Atlantic

Abbiamo appena la settimana scorsa depositato l’ennesimo gruppo di querele per i passeggeri che si sono affidati al nostro pool e, come avevamo previsto, si passa alla fase ulteriore. I Pm di Bari non perdono tempo e subito dopo la chiusura dei termini di 90 gg. per il deposito delle querele, notificano la richiesta di incidente probatorio ai 12 indagati, accusati di cooperazione colposa in naufragio, omicidio plurimo e lesioni, anche al fine di accertare nuove responsabilità per il naufragio della Norman Atlantic, la motonave naufragata lo scorso 28 dicembre al largo delle coste albanesi in cui sono morte 11 persone (18 i dispersi per ora accertati). Oltre ai due legali rappresentanti della società greca Anek, noleggiatrice del traghetto, al  supercargo della società Anek  (addetto alle fasi di imbarco), all’armatore Carlo Visentini e al comandante Argilio Giacomazzi, ci sono sette membri dell’equipaggio. Fra i quesiti proposti dalla Procura c’è, inoltre, l’individuazione di «eventuali profili di responsabilità per ritardi nell’attivazione dei sistemi di allarme e antincendio» e di tutti i soggetti preposti alla sistemazione dei carichi a bordo, al controllo dei garage durante la navigazione e poi all’evacuazione dei passeggeri. Il relitto sul quale saranno eseguiti questi accertamenti è ormeggiato di fronte al terminal crociere del porto di Bari dal 14 febbraio scorso. 

Gli accertamenti

Dovrà accertare le cause dell’incendio, la gestione delle fasi di salvataggio ma soprattutto la funzionalità di tutti gli impianti a bordo della Norman Atlantic l’incidente probatorio chiesto dalla Procura di Bari nell’ambito dell’indagine sul naufragio dello scorso 28 dicembre. In particolare i pm chiedono che vengano accertati «il momento in cui la nave è diventata ingovernabile», «la causa dell’incendio, il punto dove ha avuto origine e lo sviluppo del fuoco a bordo». Occorreranno poi accertamenti sulla «presenza di sufficienti prese di alimentazione per le necessità dei mezzi imbarcati», sulla «eventuale accensione durante la navigazione dei motori dei mezzi imbarcati», sulla «presenza di materiali o carichi infiammabili sui mezzi imbarcati e la loro posizione a bordo», sulla «presenza di passeggeri all’interno dei garage durante la navigazione e durante l’incendio e la presenza di clandestini a bordo». Sulle fasi di evacuazione, la Procura vuole verificare «la correttezza dei tempi di emanazione dell’ordine di emergenza generale (raccolta e convogliamento) e dell’ordine di abbandono nave», «la correttezza delle operazioni di convogliamento e gestione passeggeri nei punti di imbarco e la gestione dei mezzi di salvataggio, lance e zattere», «la regolarità delle attrezzature di salvataggio» e «la formazione del personale deputato a fronteggiare situazioni di abbandono nave». Infine «accertare se, stanti le condizioni meteo previste, – concludono i pm – fosse necessario adottare ulteriori accorgimenti».

Ancora possibile prendere parte al procedimento penale

Nonostante il 28.03.2015 sia scaduto il termine per depositare la querela, resta sempre aperta la possibilità ed opportunità di proporre una denuncia e formalizzare la propria posizione come parti offese prendendo parte al procedimento penale che ora entra nel vivo delle fasi investigative. Invitiamo quindi quei passeggeri che siano rimasti ancora indecisi sulla strada da percorrere, a non perdere questa opportunità, che riteniamo essere la strada maestra ed immancabile attraverso la quale ottenere il risarcimento in una misura adeguata. Ricordiamo che nel caso del naufragio Concordia, i risarcimenti più alti sono stati riconosciuti ai passeggeri che hanno preso parte al processo penale, mentre chi ha scelto la strada della class action, della transazione o della causa civile, è stato fortemente penalizzato sia in termini di tempi che economici.