VIAGGI & TURISMO - Rassegna Stampa Estera
mercoledì, 11 febbraio 2015
mercoledì, 11 febbraio 2015
Costa Concordia skipper Schettino awaits verdict
GROSETTO, ITALY ? The former captain of the doomed Costa Concordia on Wednesday gave his final address to a court where he is being tried over the loss of the giant cruiseliner, saying he had been made a scapegoat in a disaster in which 32 people died in January 2012. The court in Grosseto, Italy, may hand down a verdict as early as Wednesday evening for Francesco Schettino, 54, on charges of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship, defense lawyers said. Schettino said he had been exposed to a media ?meatgrinder? that had ?put the entire responsibility for this incident on to me, with no respect for the truth.? Investigators severely criticized his handling of the disaster, accusing him of bringing the 290 meter-long vessel too close to shore when it struck rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio, tearing a hole in its side and setting off a chaotic night evacuation of more than 4,000 passengers and crew. He has also been accused of delaying evacuation and abandoning ship before all the 4,229 passengers and crew had been rescued. Prosecutors have asked for a prison sentence of 26 years for Schettino, who has admitted some responsibility but denies blame for deaths that occurred during the evacuation. He was left alone in the dock to answer for the disaster after the ship?s owners, Costa Cruises, a unit of Carnival Corp , paid a ?1 million ($1.1 million) fine and prosecutors accepted plea bargains from five other officials. Schettino?s request for a plea bargain was rejected. Struggling with emotion at times, he rejected prosecution accusations that he had shown no sense of responsibility or compassion for the victims, saying ?grief should not be put on show to make a point.? The massive hulk of the Costa Concordia was left abandoned on its side for 2½ years before it was er-floated and towed away in the most expensive maritime wreck recovery in history. The last body was not recovered until last year. Schettino?s defense team argued he prevented an even worse disaster by steering the ship close to the island as it sank. They say the sentence sought by prosecutors goes beyond even sentences sought for mafia killers. ?I believe and hope that the court will be able to establish the fact that the deaths happened after the impact,? his lawyer, Domenico Pepe, told reporters. Costa Cruises has offered passengers who suffered no injury ?11,000 in compensation, but there are those who agree with Schettino that he should not be the only one held to account. Giuliano Leuzzi, a lawyer representing consumer organization Codacons, a civil party in the case, said: ?We need to establish the real responsibilities and each party should take responsibility for their share.?