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Saturday 20 September 2014

Disaster captain must face trial

Published 22/05/2013 | 13:22

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Former captain of the Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino must face trial over its sinking (AP)

The captain of the Costa Concordia has been ordered to stand trial over the shipwreck of the cruise liner, which struck a reef off Tuscany last year, killing 32 people.

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Francesco Schettino will be the only defendant in the trial, which begins on July 9 in the Tuscan town of Grosseto, a judge has decided.

Five other defendants successfully sought plea bargains in their cases, which are now being handled separately.

Schettino is charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship while many of the 4,200 passengers and crew were still aboard. He denies the charges.

The Concordia ran aground off the tiny island of Giglio. Schettino's lawyer says he faces as much as 20 years in prison if convicted.

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