Italy: Prosecutors reject Concordia captain’s plea

Francesco Schettino: Attempted plea deal rejected. Picture: AP
Francesco Schettino: Attempted plea deal rejected. Picture: AP
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PROSECUTORS have rejected a plea bargain offer from the captain of the cruise ship Costa ­Concordia, which capsized off ­Italy’s west coast last year with the loss of 32 lives.

Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, ­causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.

Schettino has admitted making mistakes but has said he was not the only one to blame for the disaster.

Prosecutors accepted plea bargains from five other officials, including four ship’s officers and the crisis co-ordinator of the vessel’s owners, Costa Cruises.

Yesterday they said they had rejected Schettino’s offer to serve three years and four months in prison as he bore most responsibility for the disaster. The other officers had played a “marginal” role, they said.

The giant Costa Concordia went down just outside the Tuscan port of Giglio in January last year after it struck rocks off the coast of the picturesque holiday island during a manoeuvre which brought the doomed v­essel close to the shore.

“It must be reiterated that the accused Schettino almost exclusively carries the weight for the striking chain of errors committed,” the Grosetto state prosecutor’s office said in a statement.