Italian judge orders trial for captain of Costa Concordia

Italian judge orders trial for captain of Costa Concordia

Italian judge orders trial for captain of Costa ConcordiaA judge in Italy has ordered that the captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia will stand trial.

Bloomberg reported that the trial of Francesco Schettino will begin on July 9 in Grosseto, Italy.

He faces criminal charges including manslaughter and abandoning the ship before all the 4,200 passengers had been evacuated. 32 people were killed in the disaster.

He is accused of steering the ship too closely to the island as a way of saluting the inhabitants and a veteran captain of the Costa line. Schettino has always denied any wrongdoing, claiming his actions saved lives.

The vessel ran aground near the island of Giglio hours after leaving a port near Rome on January 13 last year.

Last month it emerged Costa Cruises had made a deal with an Italian court to limit its criminal liability for the capsizing of the vessel for a fine of €1 million.

The plea bargain payment means the cruise line will not face any more criminal charges and will now aim to participate in trials as an injured party.

Costa to pay $1.3 million fine over Concordia: report

Costa to pay $1.3 million fine over Concordia: report

By Tom Stieghorst
Costa Cruises has agreed to a $1.3 million fine levied by the Italian government to settle criminal charges over the sinking of the Costa Concordia, according to a Reuters report from Italy.

The fine applies to the corporation, not to crew members and executives who have been charged and are expected to be prosecuted individually.

The prosecution is satisfied with the ruling by the preliminary court judge, Valeria Montesarchio, and will not appeal, prosecution sources said, adding that the fine was close to the maximum allowed by law.

“This is a balanced decision,” Costa Cruises lawyer Marco De Luca said after the ruling. “It is the most reasonable solution.”

The company spokesman confirmed De Luca’s comments, originally made to Italian media, and said the company had no further statement.

Prosecutors request manslaughter charge against Concordia captain

Prosecutors request manslaughter charge against Concordia captain

By Phil Davies

Prosecutors request manslaughter charge against Concordia captain Italian prosecutors have formally requested a manslaughter indictment against Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino following last year’s disaster in which 32 people died.

Prosecutors in Grosseto, Tuscany, are also seeking the trial of Schettino on charges of causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel during the frantic and confused evacuation of passengers and crew.

The prosecutors said Costa Concordia was conducting a publicity stunt off the coast of the island of Giglio on the night of January 13 when the ship ran into a jagged reef, which left a 70-metre-long gash in the hull.

The vessel quickly took on water and capsized, ending up on its side near the island’s port.

Prosecutors also requested the indictment of five other crew members, including two officers who were on the bridge that night.

The proposed charges against them vary, but all are accused of manslaughter, according to theAssociated Press.

Chief prosecutor Francesco Verusio said that after a sophisticated scientific and technological investigation, “the determining cause of the events of the shipwreck, deaths and injuries, is, unfortunately, dramatically due to the human factor”.

Prosecutors said ship owner Costa Crociere has asked for a plea bargain agreement. If accepted, this could see the Italian line pay a €1 million (£877,000) fine. The company has blamed Schettino for the incident.

Schettino has repeatedly claimed it was his clever steering after the collision that allowed the ship to move closer to the port and help save lives. He has also said the reef was not marked on the ship’s navigational charts.