Costa Concordia’s captain gets 16-plus years is free on appeal – Los Angeles Times
Francesco Schettino, the Italian captain who steered the cruise ship Costa Concordia onto rocks in Italy in 2012 with the loss of 32 lives, was sentenced Wednesday to just over 16 years in prison.
A panel of three judges at his trial in the Tuscan city of Grosseto handed Schettino, 54, five years for shipwreck, 10 years for manslaughter and one year for leaving the ship before passengers. He was given an additional month, which could involve house arrest rather than prison time, for misleading of rescue officials.
Schettino’s employer, Costa Crociere, was ordered to pay damages to passengers who were civil plaintiffs in the case, as weel as to the Italian state, the island of Giglio and organizations involved in the rescue effort. The total amount was not immediately clear.
For the Record
Feb. 11, 2 p.m.: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Schettino was ordered to pay the damages. His employer, Costa Crociere, was ordered to make the payments.
The judges decided that Schettino was not likely to flee before the two appeals he is entitled to under Italy’s legal system. They rejected a request from prosecutors to place him in custody, or even under house arrest, pending appeal.
Schettino was put on trial in 2013 after he mishandled a nighttime “sail past” off the Tuscan island of Giglio while captain of the Costa Concordia, a 114,000-ton vessel carrying 4,200 crew and passengers.
After the ship smashed into hidden rocks, tearing a hole in the hull, lower decks flooded and the ship began to list. The vessel drifted powerless as the wind pushed it toward the island, where it tipped onto its side in shallow water.