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  • The Costa Concordia reportedly hit rocks which damaged its side and forced it to sink.

    The Costa Concordia reportedly hit rocks which damaged its side and forced it to sink. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 May 2017

Court rejects Francesco Schettino's claim that others bore the blame for the 2012 shipwreck.

The captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia luxury liner will serve 16 years in prison, Italy's highest court said yesterday.

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The court upheld the sentence of Francesco Schettino, who was convicted for his role in a 2012 shipwreck which claimed the lives of 32 people. His legal team's argument that others bore some responsibility for the disaster was rejected.

Schettino, who remained free while awaiting the verdict of the appeal, is expected to start his prison sentence as soon as he turns himself in.

Schettino was found guilty of manslaughter in 2015.

On January 13, 2012, he was at the helm of the vessel which had over 4,200 passengers and crew aboard. The ship reportedly hit rocks off the coast of Giglio, damaging its side and allowing water to get in, eventually forcing it to sink. Schettino was accused of steering the 290-meter-long vessel too close to shore, delaying evacuation and abandoning the ship before all the 4,200 passengers and crew had been rescued.

The ship's owner, Costa Crociere, avoided criminal charges by accepting partial responsibility and agreeing to pay a one million euro ($1.2m) fine. Additionally, five employees received non-custodial sentences after accepting plea bargains.

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