News / Europe

Prosecutors Reject Costa Concordia Captain's Plea Bargain on Manslaughter Charge

January 18, 2012: The cruise ship Costa Concordia lays on its side off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy.January 18, 2012: The cruise ship Costa Concordia lays on its side off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy.
x
January 18, 2012: The cruise ship Costa Concordia lays on its side off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy.
January 18, 2012: The cruise ship Costa Concordia lays on its side off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy.
Reuters
— Prosecutors rejected a plea bargain offer by the captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which capsized off Italy's west coast last year with the loss of 32 lives, lawyers said on Tuesday.
 
Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. He has admitted making mistakes but says he should not be the only one blamed for the disaster.
 
State prosecutors accepted plea bargains for five other officials, including four ship's officers and the crisis coordinator of the vessel's owners, Costa Cruises.
 
The prosecutors said they had rejected Schettino's offer to serve three years and four months in prison as he 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 maneuver which brought the doomed vessel close to the shore.
 
The accident triggered a chaotic night-time evacuation of more than 4,000 passengers and crew from the 290-meter-long ship, which is still lying on its side on a rock shelf just outside the port.
 
A recording of a coastguard ordering Schettino to “get back aboard, damn it!'' in a furious telephone call to the captain spawned a popular catchphrase that was printed on t-shirts in Italy.
 
“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.
 
Schettino's lawyer Francesco Pepe told reporters that they had always intended to fight the case at trial and had only entered the plea bargain because the five other defendants had done so, leaving the captain isolated as potentially the sole defendant on trial.
 
“We think now we will go to trial. We want the details of what really happened to come to light,'' Schettino's lawyer, Francesco Pepe told reporters.
 
The presiding judge is expected to rule on whether or not to approve the plea bargains for the other five by the end of the week.
 
“I can only tell you that anyone who has been in a position of authority would feel very, very depressed, exactly as he feels,'' Pepe said.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid