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Italy court considers charges for Concordia captain, five others

Italy court considers charges for Concordia captain, five others
An Italian court on Monday began hearing prosecutors’ arguments for charging Costa Concordia Capt. Francesco Schettino with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.

Prosecutors are also seeking various charges against five others in connection with the grounding and capsize that killed 32 people.

They are first officer Ciro Ambrosio, second officer Silvia Coronica, helmsman Jacob Rusli Bin, hotel director Manrico Giampedroni and, from the shoreside office, Roberto Ferrarini, director of marine operations and Costa Crociere’s designated person ashore.

Costa is involved in this criminal proceeding only to the extent of seeking damages for the loss of its ship, a company spokeswoman told Seatrade Insider. Last week the cruise operator was fined €1m in administrative sanctions in a plea bargain but is not expected to face further criminal charges from the state.

Others seeking damages include passengers who have not accepted Costa’s compensation and are pursuing legal claims, and the community of Giglio, where the wreck occurred.

The closed-door hearing, in Grosseto, is expected to continue until next week, when a judge will decide how to proceed.

Reuters reports the captain’s lawyer told reporters during a break that Schettino should not be criminalized for having an accident while working. The wire service said he could get 20 years in jail if convicted.