Costa Concordia: 'Captain Coward' sentence is 'too light'
Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster have condemned the 16-year prison sentence given to Capt Francesco Schettino by an Italian court as too lenient.
They are also bitterly disappointed that the former commander will remain at liberty pending what is likely to be a lengthy appeals process.
Although the man dubbed 'Captain Coward' by the Italian media was found guilty on Wednesday night of multiple counts of manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a maritime disaster, he is not behind bars. He has the right to two levels of appeal and will be a free man until that process is exhausted. He is free to return to his home in Meta di Sorrento, a coastal town where he lives with his wife and daughter.
The judges in the trial, held in the Tuscan town of Grosseto, rejected a prosecution request that the ex-skipper be confined to house arrest, ruling that he was not a flight risk.
"The sentence is too soft, 16 years for 32 victims is nothing," said Giovanni Girolamo, whose son Giuseppe, a musician on board the Costa Concordia, died when the luxury liner smashed into the island of Giglio, off the Tuscan coast.(© Daily Telegraph, London)