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Costa Concordia captain's trial delayed due to lawyers' strike

July 9, 2013 at 8:40 AM

GROSSETO, Italy, July 9 (UPI) -- A trial for the former captain who allegedly abandoned the Costa Concordia cruise ship after it hit a rock was delayed due to a lawyers' strike in Italy.

Francesco Schettino's trial was set to begin Tuesday but has been adjourned until next week, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Schettino is charged with dereliction of duty and multiple manslaughter.

The ex-captain was in command of the Costa Concordia when the cruise ship hit a rock on Jan. 13, 2012, near the island of Giglio. He allegedly abandoned ship without overseeing the evacuation, and the disaster cost 32 people their lives.

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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