On 22 May 2015 a preliminary session, part of the criminal proceedings for the fire onboard the NORMAN ATLANTIC, has been held in Bari, presided by the competent Italian Judge, Dr.ssa Piliego. During this session (a) the victims/passengers and bereaved families have been officially announced, as represented by their proxy lawyers, (b) the technical experts have been appointed and (c) they have been assigned with specific questions that have to be answered in the technical report on the causes and circumstances of the incident. Our team of lawyers has been present and participated with both Greek and Italian representatives in the court session and we have officially appointed our technical experts, who were also present from Italy and Norway. We have successfully suggested further issues to be assigned on the court experts. The Judge ordered that the technical experts board the vessel for the first time on the 11th June for on-site investigation. In preparation for this, the stern door/ramp will be unlocked by a company selected by the Judge starting from Monday the 25th of May. Our technical experts will participate at the 11th June session (and following days). Until that date the ship will remain in the port of Bari in the same exact conditions as it is since it arrived towed from Brindisi and as it remains since the accident.
There are indications that a number of vehicles stored in the lower garages of the ship (1 and 2) may have not sustained considerable damage. When the lower garages will be opened, which will happen later, in the course of the investigation by the court’s experts, these cars will have to be technically examined, before decisions can be made whether they are usable or not and whether their owners will decide to accept them back or treat them as total losses. Our team of lawyers has already selected one expert to serve such needs as soon as it will be permitted either by the Judge and by environmental situation.
Any news and statements recently spread in the press or on the internet that cars have been already removed and are stored in the port of Bari, which caused great anxiety between our principals, are completely false and we wonder what purpose they were serving. All cars and trucks, burnt or not, are in the ship, as they have been since the fire.