Two men have gone on trial in Italy over a fatal boat accident on Lake Garda in June.
The duo are facing manslaughter charges after the boat’s nighttime collision killed two people who were also out on the lake.
Defendant Patrick Kassen, from Germany, was in court in Brescia on Wednesday. His co-defendant remained in Germany.
Investigators say the Germans’ motorboat slammed into a smaller wooden vessel, allegedly after the defendants had been out drinking.
Umberto Garzarella, aged 37, was found dead in the smaller boat, while the body of 25-year-old Greta Nedrotti was found two days later during a police search of the lake.
The defendants are charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an emergency and face prison sentences of up to five years.
The tourists returned to Germany after the incident but Kassen presented himself to authorities after learning an arrest warrant had been issued. Relatives of Garzarella and Nedrotti were in court for Wednesday’s hearing.
“I have nothing to say because I have a lot to say, I am now going to entrust the Italian Justice,” said Garzarella’s father, Enzo Garzarella.
The families have already received compensation totalling €1.3 million and €2.5 million respectively from the insurance company of the Germans’ boat.
But the municipality of Salò, near where the accident took place, and the Garda Mountain Community have now also joined the trial as joint plaintiffs.
The hearing in the Brescia tribunal was adjourned after an hour and the trial is set to resume in December.