Connect to share and comment

Costa Concordia: Cocaine found on the hair of Captain Francesco Schettino

Lawyers demand new tests after results show the drug is on the hair, but not in the hair or in a urine sample.

Schettinocostaconcordia2012218Enlarge
A banner reading “Captain Schettino, we are with you” is seen as Naples supporters wait for the start of a Serie A soccer match against Siena on Jan 22. (FABIO MUZZI/AFP/Getty Images)

Lawyers for survivors of last month’s Costa Concordia shipwreck say traces of cocaine have been found on the hair of former captain Francesco Schettino, according to the Associated Press.

But in Schettino’s urine and within the sampled hair itself, no cocaine was found, causing lawyers to demand repeat of the tests to rule out the contamination or mishandling of samples, the news agency reported.

More from GlobalPost: Italy shipwreck captain Francesco Schettino must remain under house arrest, says court

The Jan 13 catastrophe off Giglio Island in the Tyrrhenian Sea left 17 dead and 15 missing and feared dead as well as 64 people injured. Schettino was immediately arrested and ordered detained on suspicion of multiple manslaughters and abandoning ship.

Under Italian law, alleged victims petitioning for damages at trial are allowed to monitor evidence and investigations.

Stefano Zerbi, a spokesman for the Italian consumer protection organization Codacons, which is representing some survivors, said the test results were “very strange” and raid the possibility tthat samples “more than anything else, had been badly preserved and contamination might have resulted,” according to the AP.

More from GlobalPost: Costa Concordia fuel removal is underway (VIDEO)

The news comes after Reuters reported that dozens of additional survivors have added their names to a lawsuit pending in a Miami, Florida court that seeks $528 million in damages.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/120218/costa-concordia-cocaine-found-the-hair-captain-francesco-s