Provisional Dates Given for Appearance of Key Witnesses

IMOLA, Italy (May 7, 1997 – 12:49 EST) — Defending Formula One world champion

Damon Hill and Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher are set to testify next month in a manslaughter trial for the fatal crash of Ayrton Senna, court officials said Wednesday. Testimony of top defendants Frank Williams, Patrick Head and Adrian Newey is expected in July.

As the trial remained suspended this week following a nationwide strike of lawyers, Judge Antonio Costanzo made public the tentative schedule of the next sessions.

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone was summoned to testify next week, when the trial of six F-1 officials resumes following the cancellation of five consecutive sessions. Ecclestone was to appear in court on May 14, the day after testimony of metal experts.

Hill, a teammate of Senna in 1994, will be heard on June 2 while Schumacher, who was behind Senna when the Brazilian driver sped off the circuit and crashed against a concrete wall, will testify on June 20.

Three sessions were cancelled last month following conflicting engagements ofCostanzo. Two sessions were called off this week because of a strike by defense lawyers, who are protesting what they contend is too much power for prosecutors.

Nando- 7/5/97.