Infamous Costa Concordia Captain to Remain Under House Arrest
On Tuesday, the highest court in Italy ruled that the infamous Costa Concordia cruise ship captain, Francesco Schettino, is to remain under his house arrest orders until the possible criminal charges filed against him are thoroughly investigated.
Prosecutors insist on keeping the captain behind bars during the investigation, while his lawyers fight for his freedom. He is being blamed for causing the luxury liner to capsize off Italy’s Giglio Island – taking the lives of over 30 people.
Italy's Supreme Court, known as the Court of Cassation, met to consider Schettino's house arrest at a closed hearing with a five-judge panel. The court was also expected to rule on the admissibility of the captain's phone intercepts at the police station following his detention right after the shipwreck, according to CNN.
Allegations against Capt. Schettino include manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, destroying a natural habitat and abandoning ship. The captain’s first officer, other ship officers, and officials from the Costa firm are also being investigated in this case – with additional allegations, including failure to report the accident. No one has yet been charged in connection with the incident.
The captain stands by the claim that Costa cruise line authorities instructed him to sail close to the island and has denied claims that he was sailing too fast. He has released statements that said the rock the ship struck was not indicated on his charts of the area. He has been under house arrest at his home since January.
Currently, 30 bodies have been recovered from the shipwreck. 25 have been identified and five are still in process of identification. Two people remain missing.