Costa Concordia Disaster: Schettino verdict expected today

A verdict in the trial of former Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino is scheduled to be handed down today in Grosseto, Italy, marking the end of the only criminal trial stemming from the disaster.

Schettino is accused of causing the deaths of 32 people in the 2012 Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster and faces charges of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. The prosecutor in the trial has asked the court a guilty verdict and to sentence Schettino to more than 26 years in jail, while the defense has argued that Schettino actually saved lives by steering the ship back to shore and that he was thrown off due to the severe list.

In April 2013, Costa Concordia’s owner/operator, Costa Crociere, a brand of Carnival Cruise Corp., agreed to accept a $1.3 million fine to settle any potential criminal charges stemming from the accident.

Five others, including 4 crewmembers and a company official, accepted a plea bargain in exchange for reduced sentences, ranging from 18 and 34 months on charges of multiple manslaughter, negligence and causing a shipwreck.

The sentences caused some outrage as they were viewed by many as being too lenient.

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