Unlucky Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino jailed for 16 years

February 12, 2015 2:12 am

The captain of the shipwrecked cruise ship has been
convicted of multiple charges of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years
in jail.
was convicted of manslaughter in the
deaths of 32 passengers and crew in the January 13, 2012 capsizing as
well as of causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while many of the
4,200 passengers and crew were still on the ship.
The verdict and sentencing brought an end to a trial that has been running since July 2013.
Prosecutors
had insisted Schettino was a “reckless idiot” and asked the court to
sentence him to 26 years and three months in prison.

The Costa Concordia wreckage on Giglio Island in . Photo / AP
Schettino
wasn’t present when Judge Giovanni Puliatti read out the verdict in a
Grosseto theatre, but the former captain told the court earlier he was
being “sacrificed” to safeguard the economic interests of his employer.

He then broke down in sobs immediately before the panel began deliberating.
“That’s enough,” Schettino said, unable to finish his statement to the three-judge panel.
Testimony
put the spotlight on errors by other crew and equipment malfunctions
after the Concordia smashed into a jagged reef when Schettino steered
the ship close to the Tuscan island’s shoreline while passengers were
having supper in the main dining room.
The reef gashed the hull,
seawater rushed in, and the Concordia listed badly, finally ending up on
its side outside Giglio’s port.
Autopsies determined that
victims drowned aboard ship or in the sea after either falling or
jumping off the ship during a chaotic, delayed evacuation.

Francesco Schettino. Photo / AP
Francesco Schettino. Photo / AP
Schettino said he was “a few hours from a verdict that
should have involved an entire organization and instead sees me as the
only defendant.”
“My head was sacrificed to serve economic interests,” the 54-year-old Neapolitan seaman told the court.
Lawyers
for many of the survivors and victims’ families have attached civil
suits to the criminal trial to press the court to order Costa Crociere
SpA, the Italian cruise company, to pay hefty damages.
While
insisting Schettino deserves conviction and a stiff prison sentence, the
plaintiffs’ lawyers have lamented to the court that no one from the
cruise company’s upper echelons was put on trial.

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