Prosecutors urge court to jail Concordia captain for 26 years

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Prosecutors have asked a court to convict the captain of the Costa Concordia and sentence him to 26 years in prison for the 2012 shipwreck off Tuscany that killed 32 people.

Prosecutor Maria Navarro also asked the court to detain Captain Francesco Schettino again and seize his passport and navigation licence, saying he is a flight risk.

She said the trial had proved that Schettino “thought only and always about himself”.

Schettino is being tried for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning the Concordia while many passengers and crew members were still aboard.

Survivors of the wreck described a chaotic and delayed evacuation, with lifeboats unable to lower because the ship was already listing so much.

Schettino has said he saved lives by steering the liner towards shore after it hit rocks that were not on his charts. He has accused his crew of botching his orders and blamed faulty generators aboard the ship for contributing to the disaster.

In scathing closing statements in the makeshift courthouse in Grossetto, Ms Navarro accused Schettino of lying from the start, of never apologising to the victims and saving his own life “without even getting his shoes wet”.

She said the requested sentence, beyond the 20-year maximum speculated, was not “exaggerated” considering Italy’s high court recently confirmed a 10-year prison sentence for a car accident that killed four people.

Defence lawyer Donato Laino was incredulous at the prosecutors’ request to re-arrest Schettino, saying the flight risk was “non-existent”.

Schettino was granted house arrest soon after the shipwreck – and later was allowed to remain in his home town near Naples during the course of the trial. He has attended most court sessions, though he was absent yesterday.

Five other Costa Crociere employees indicted in the case were allowed to enter plea bargains and none is serving prison time.