Ex-captain of Concordia ship to face trial

May 22, 2013 at 8:53 AM

GROSSETO, Italy, May 22 (UPI) -- A judge in Italy has ordered a trial for the ex-captain who allegedly abandoned the Costa Concordia cruise ship after it hit a rock last year.

Francesco Schettino, who has been charged with dereliction of duty and multiple manslaughter, will face trial starting July 9, ANSA reported.

Schettino was manning the Costa Concordia when it hit a rock on Jan. 13, 2012, near the island of Giglio.

Schettino allegedly abandoned the ship without overseeing the evacuation, and the disaster cost 32 people their lives.

But Schettino has said his actions have been distorted and his years of experience led to the safe evacuation of more than 4,000 people.

Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if Schettino is convicted.

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