Italian Captain Francesco Schettino was found guilty today for causing the fatal shipwreck of the Costa Concordia and sentenced to 16 years in prison, according to a three-judge panel.
The verdict came after a 19-month-long trial in which Schettino, who had been accused of causing the Jan. 13, 2012 shipwreck near the Italian island of Giglio, was charged with multiple counts of manslaughter and abandoning ship before all 4,200 passengers could be safely evacuated.
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GROSSETO, Italy — Whatever verdict is delivered in the trial of the Italian sea captain for the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia cruise liner and for the deaths of 32 people, survivors and victims’ families already are wondering if justice will be done.The trial, expected to bring a verdict this week, has a sole defendant. Francesco Schettino is accused of causing the shipwreck on the night of Jan. 13, 2012, when he steered too close to a tiny Tuscan island, smashing into a granite reef that sliced open the hull, sending seawater rushing in. Schettino is also charged with multiple manslaughter and injury, and of abandoning the luxury liner when many of the 4,200 passengers and crew were still aboard.
Costa Concordia verdict looms CBS
Former captain Francesco Schettino raised his voice and blamed officers for being “at fault” in the January 2012 Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster during his trial on Friday.
“It was the fault of the bridge team,” Schettino said to Alessandra Guarini, lawyer for one of the passengers, during questioning.
Schettino is the only person on trial after Costa Cruises and a number of crew members and company staff reached plea bargains with prosecutors in the sinking that killed 32 people.
Read more: Concordia captain blames bridge team Life in Italy
Francesco Schettino, captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship, took the stand for the first time Tuesday, combative and contradicting the testimony of not just his first captain but also what he has said in the past about the deadly shipwreck.
Schettino — who is charged with manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster and abandoning ship with passengers still on board — denies wrongdoing. He faces up to 23 years in prison if convicted.
He remained defiant even while painting a picture of confusion on board the ship as the disaster unfolded, pointing the finger at others for the chaotic evacuation of the ship’s passengers.
Read More: Costa Concordia captain combative, defiant as he testifies at trial
Rome: A Rome university professor is facing a disciplinary hearing after inviting the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner to lecture students on emergency procedures.
The dean of Rome’s Sapienza University, Luigi Frati, voiced anger on Wednesday at the professor’s decision to invite Captain Francesco Schettino to give a seminar, calling it an “inappropriate and unworthy choice.” Mr Frati said he was turning the matter over to an ethics committee.
The university dismissed the “pathetic excuses” offered by the professor, Vincenzo Mastronardi, when confronted by the dean.
Furor after Costa Concordia captain gives lecture on emergency procedures Sydney Morning Herald
“A case of Schettino in Korea” has been the recurring headline in Italian newspapers in the past few days – a reference to the Italian liner’s captain now on trial for an accident in which 32 people lost their lives.
The same number of people are now confirmed dead in the Sewol tragedy, while 270 people are still missing.
As frustration and despair run high in the South Korean republic, everyone’s attention has focused on the 69 year old captain Lee Joon-Seok, who, witnesses say, chose to flee the tilted ship without a minute-long hesitation. Earlier on Friday he was arrested along with two of his crew members. Here are five similarities between the disasters
Captain in charge
Sewol and Costa Concordia: two sea tragedies strikingly alike Voice of Russia
Ferry Disaster Compared to Costa Concordia Maritime Executive
Captains Uncourageous: Abandoning Ship Long Seen As A Crime NPR
The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank with hundreds of high school students aboard is under criminal investigation for his actions, but it’s not clear whether he broke any laws by being one of the first people off the crippled boat.
While the “captain goes down with his ship” is considered a law of the sea, it’s really more just a guideline, experts say.
Lee Joon-seok, 69, climbed onto one of the first lifeboats to launch from the ship just a half an hour after reporting an accident.
Are Captains who abandon ship breaking the law? ABC News