Around 200 people including lawyers, passengers, prosecutors and technical experts have attended a preliminary court hearing into the Costa Concordia disaster, which left at least 25 people dead.
With so many people in attendance, a theatre in the Italian city of Grosseto became the venue of the closed-door hearing.
Prosecutors submitted a 5,000-page file to the trial judge Valeria Montesarchio, which contains statements from dozens of witnesses. They include crew members, passengers and most importantly, the captain of the ill-fated liner, Francesco Schettino.
Schettino, 52, is currently under house arrest while investigators consider charges of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship while passengers were still on board and failing to communicate with maritime authorities.
It has emerged that prosecutors have asked for a new charge to be brought against Schettino. They want him to answer to that of "destroying a habitat" as the Concordia ran aground in waters that are a protected maritime sanctuary.
Schettino is said to have recklessly changed the course of the Concordia, which was packed with more than 4,000 passengers and crew, so that he could carry out a 'sail-by salute' of the Italian island of Giglio but the ship struck rocks.
Paolo Bastanini, one of Schettino's lawyers, said: ''Our client is very upset by what happened.
"He is upset when he hears news that bodies have been found in the Concordia and he was very upset to hear the news that the body of a five-year-old girl was also recovered.
"He is waiting calmly for the start of these proceedings but he will not be there. He does not need to be here and anyway he is under house arrest which we have appealed to have revoked so he can be freed while the investigations continue."
The main part of the hearing was the formal appointing of technical experts. They will carry out the examination of the Concordia's black box data recorder which registered the ship's course and position.
"The details that are obtained from the data recorders will be of utmost importance and will give us a new line of investigation and also help us to ascertain if others were also responsible for what happened that night," Mr Bastanini said.
After the experts were appointed, the hearing was adjourned until July 21.
Besides Schettino , his first officer Ciro Ambrosio and two other crew members have also been placed under formal investigation, as well as three officials from Genoa-based Costa Cruises.
The company has been in the headlines again this week after another of its liners, the Allegra, suffered an engine room fire and lost all power.
The ship had to be towed to port in the Seychelles where it arrived on Thursday morning.
Thirty-five British passengers and crew were on the Concordia in January's disaster and many of them are represented by law firm Irwin Mitchell, who also have a representative at the hearing.
Clive Garner, head of Travel Law, said victims and their families are hoping the court proceedings will help explain how the Concordia came to be so close to shore, why it ran aground and how the evacuation process went so horribly wrong.
Mr Garner told Sky News: "It is very important that justice is done and lessons are learned from what happened.
"Having spoken to the people we are representing we have real concerns about the training that the crew was given.
"They didn't know what they were doing. They told passengers to go back to their cabins and not to worry and everything was fine but quite clearly that was wrong.
"They did not take adequate steps and this delay cost people's lives. It's totally unacceptable."
"There is no doubt that this was a most terrifying and traumatic experience. Many of our clients who thankfully survived, genuinely feared for their lives."
Schettino has always insisted that he was under orders from company directors to perform the 'sail-by salute' and that the rocks he struck were not on charts that they had been given.