Report By: Nina Rai
07 Feb, 2012
Prosecutors are demanding a mind-boggling jail term of 2,697 years for the Italian Captain Francesco Schettino responsible for the catastrophe that hit the ill-fated Costa Concordia, according to latest reports emerging today.
As many are aware, Captain Schettino had last month abandoned his stricken cruise liner, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded onboard, while he himself escaped to safety in a lifeboat to the nearby Giglio Island.
Currently, 52-year old Schettino is under house arrest serving it at his house in Meta di Sorrrento near Naples which he shares with his wife Fabiola and teen daughter. He also faces the daunting prospect of multi-manslaughter charges being slapped against him.
Already 17 lives have been lost and an equal number of people are missing after the flamboyant skipper recklessly changed course and crashed the Italian cruise liner onto the reefs, in an act of bravado to carry out a ‘Sail by Salute’ to impress his crew and friends on board the Costa Concordia.
Yesterday Feb 06, 2012 prosecutors looking into the case, in a three hour testimony before an appeal court judge in Florence demanded that Schettino be sent back to jail. They opined there is every possibility that he may tamper with the evidence. Moreover, the very fact that he escaped from his ship, also raises the possibility of him trying to evade justice, they added.
Meanwhile the Chief Investigator Francesco Verusio wanted Schettino to be handed out 15 years for mass manslaughter, 10 years in prison for causing the disaster, 8 years for each passenger who was abandoned and another 8 years for those who died, with all terms running concurrently.
The grand total of this works out to 2,697 years, as 34 people are understood to have perished. 300 passengers were ditched by Costa Concordia captain the night of the catastrophe on Jan 13, 2012. All these demands were listed out in a 12 page document by the investigators which were then handed over to the judges’ along-with a request to have Schettino sent back to jail, even as his attorneys pleaded for his release.
The contention of his legal team was that Schettino had been removed from his post by the Concordia's owners the Costa Cruises, post the disaster. This incident according to them was 'unique and unrepeatable' proof that he would not evade justice nor tamper with evidence.
But this argument was countered by Verusio who informed: “When first told he was going to jail, Schettino asked if he could go to a hotel first and then for something to eat. He also has the possibility of escaping to various places across the world.” In other words the chief investigator felt that this clearly underlined the fact that Schettino would try to escape the clutches of justice. Meanwhile, the court hearing the case adjourned its decision until Friday.
Source: Daily Mail