Prosecutor Wants 26-Year Sentence for Costa Concordia Captain

Italian prosecutors have called for a 26-year prison sentence for the captain of Costa Concordia cruise ship that sank in January, 2012, killing 32 people.

Captain of the ill-fated cruise ship Francesco Schettino is being trialed before a court in Grosseto, Italy for manslaughter and abandoning ship.

Prosecutor Maria Navarro said that Schettino is a flight risk and asked the court to detain him again and seize his passport and navigation license, the Associated Press reports.

In the closing argument, Prosecutor Navarro said Schettino should serve 14 years for manslaughter and causing injuries, nine for causing a shipwreck, three for abandoning ship, and a further three months for giving false testimony, Reuters informed.

The grounding of the cruise ship, carrying 4,252 people at the time, is believed to had been caused by the captain’s recklessness, as the ship came too close to the Giglio island where it got stuck and later collapsed.

The accused captain took the stand for the first time in early December and during his testimony explained that he had sailed the cruise ship close to a nearby island to impress passengers.

As explained by Schettino, he wanted to give passengers a better view attributing commercial reasons to the decision.

The court is expected to reach a verdict on the case next month. The court proceedings have been ongoing since 2013.

Costa Cruises, an arm of cruise liner conglomerate Carnival Corporation, is facing USD 274 million in damage claims as officials from Italy’s Tuscany region and the island of Gilgio take their claims to court.

President of Tuscany Enrico Rossi told the Grosseto city court that the region plans to ask for €30 million (around USD 38 million) in damages from Costa for marring Tuscany’s image that lead to a drop in tourism of 7 pct.

Rossi blamed the disaster that saw the tilted Concordia wreck sit at the Island of Giglio for over two and a half years before it was finally removed  in July for losing 45,000 visitors.

Carlo Scarpa, a consultant to Giglio’s local government, filed for around USD 237 million in damages to the same court, on the same grounds.

World Maritime News Staff

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