Costa Concordia captain Schettino sentenced to 16 years

Schettino, 54, was sentenced at the end of a 19-month trial, three years after the January 2012 disaster, which occurred after the huge cruise ship hit rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio.



By (AFP)

Published: Fri 13 Feb 2015, 1:45 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:44 PM

Grosseto, Italy - An Italian court on Wednesday sentenced Francesco Schettino, the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia, to 16 years and one month in prison for his role in the shipwreck that claimed 32 lives.

Schettino, 54, was sentenced at the end of a 19-month trial, three years after the January 2012 disaster, which occurred after the huge cruise ship hit rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio. His conviction is subject to appeal.

The disgraced skipper, who had earlier tearfully appealed to the court for mercy, had been charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship with passengers and crew still on board.

It was not immediately clear which of the various counts he was convicted on.

Prosecutors had sought a total sentence of 26 years and three months.

Schettino was accused during the trial of recklessly steering the giant cruise ship onto the rocks with more than 4,000 people on board, negligently delaying an order to abandon ship and then leaving the ship himself in a cowardly and unprofessional manner.

In his defence, Schettino said his crew was to blame for the collision, that the delayed evacuation might have saved lives and insisted he fell off the tilting boat rather than fleeing in fear.

Schettino had also claimed he was being made a scapegoat for the disaster and had been the victim of a media witch-hunt.


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